Serendip Belt: History
5415-50AD Homesteader Terrorism
The Homesteaders Rights Army hid out in the myriad falling rocks of the systems two asteroid Belts. They were succored by the millions of smallholders who saw their livelihoods being taken away by the faceless corporate suits. Bombings and assassination became commonplace.
The Army was brutally suppressed by the Serendip Belt Corporation. The patrol force of the Astrogation Authority was transformed into a police force. Patrol ships scoured the belts for terrorist hideouts, and occasionally fought pitched battles with enemy ships.
But however many bases were cleared out, however many suspects were interred, however many homesteads were confiscated, the terrorists strength never seemed to dwindle. Every fighter who was killed inspired two to take his place.
In 5438AD the Prime Claim Law was amended again, this time to try and appease the homesteaders. Homesteads were automatically converted into outright ownership after 30 years. Owners could break up the homestead, or sell it, as there was no further residency requirement.
This change was applied retrospectively. The vast majority of homesteaders thus instantly became the owners of their own land. Many became very rich. All were assured that they couldnt be further deprived of their rights.
5440-80AD The Homesteader Exodus
With no residency requirement, there ceased to be a reason for homesteaders to live out in the belt. Thousands sold their plots to the corporations and streamed into the comfort of the principal habitats. In forty years the number of homesteaders dwindled to a few millions - a fraction of the peak.