The Solanum States is a diverse, federated empire situated in the Inner Sphere, and a key Springfield Pact member and the first Pactist state in the Inner Sphere. Although it only has thirty-six worlds in its possession, it has within its borders more xeno species and human cultures than perhaps any other state in the Milky Way. However, while diverse, Solanum remains dominated by the Americans and Chinese that make up its upper class.
The area the Solanum States now dominate had the misfortune of being the center of Imperial American colonization and, to serve as a watchdog, that of communist China’s. During the Collapse, the area was a primary battlefield, and many formerly prosperous areas throughout the area are still uninhabitable by the 28th century. However, the Collapse did not kill as many people as popularly believed and a refugee crisis struck. For a century, the Chinese and Americans fought for dominance. Both were based on the worlds surrounding the Solanum system, a former farming corporation system that became the site of refugees after the Collapse. These wars transcended species lines, as both factions relied on xenos that survived the Collapse to fight alongside them. The Americans eventually triumphed, but only through a treaty with the Chinese that allowed the latter considerable autonomy.
Later in history, the Solanum States would come into conflict with Acadia, the Kassel Confederation, the Conseil Systems and the chaotic systems of the Inner Sphere. Solanum allied with some powers against others and normally had a competent multi-species military, but they didn’t win enough battles to be independent of their allies’ support. However, Solanum’s main rival was the Conseil Systems, which attacked it multiple times after the Soviet Civil War in an attempt to expand its power into the Inner Sphere. When the Coalition proposed the Springfield Pact in the 2500s, Solanum became the first member. Solanum was never as powerful as her neighbors and the height of Solanumese power was right before the Galactic War.
The Chinese half of the Solanum States is extremely autonomous, to the point of having its own state. The two governments were simply united under a single Emperor (who claimed to be descended from John IX, the last American emperor) and a bicameral Parliament. The National House of Parliament houses representatives of the American and Chinese states, while the System House houses representatives of each system. How representatives are chosen in the System House is up to the planetary system in question, but the National House representatives are chosen by each state. Office in Parliament has degraded to a hereditary system, with sons taking over their fathers’ posts when it is their time. The Emperor, by the 28th century part of a royal family of mixed American and Chinese descent, has the final say in any Parliamentary decision (and can dismiss any MP at any time for any reason) but his role in government depends largely on his personal ambitions. The Emperor is succeeded by the closest male heir to the throne. Speaking out against the Emperor is high treason and punishable by public execution (up to and including crucifixion).
The xenos which had fought in the wars forming Solanum are not represented and treated extremely poorly by the human nobility, but not to the point of extermination. Any human can get away with killing or stealing from a xeno, provided they have an “excuse.” Xenos are regularly conscripted into Solanum’s military and used as cannon fodder. Economically, Solanum is pro-capitalism and has a thriving market, although not to the same extent as the Coalition or Kassel. Solanumese are known for being a very laid-back people, which contrasts greatly with the constant threat of communist invasion.
The Solanum States are the primary barrier to Conseil entry into the Inner Sphere, a role they take pride in. Consequently, the Coalition has a massive garrison present on Solanumese worlds; in fact, Battlefleet Coral Sea, is based in the Solanum States. The Solanumese military is actually fairly small for its role in peacetime, depending on mercenaries instead. Some Solanumese mercenaries, like their Confederate counterparts, have actually joined the Communist International during the Galactic War. The Solanumese have one of the most advanced bioweapons programs in the galaxy, second only to the Conseil Systems. A breakout of Lazarus virus, a program the Solanumese government has been working on closely with the Coalition, on the world of New Formosa V has placed the entire world under quarantine.