“Desperation is a fact of life in many poor, overcrowded countries.” -Anthony Lewis
Conditions for the Martian Revolution – Political
Although Martian society had been remarkably static for nine centuries, there had been certain political, economic, social, and technological changes in the decades preceding the Elysium Mons Observatory incident that laid the way for the revolution to come.
The first change was in the ruling dynasty of Elysium. The Ludei dynasty took control of Elysium in a coup in 4,892 AD. The Ludei steered a uniquely successful course in foreign relations, fighting few wars and largely winning those they did fight, while managing trade relations with neighboring cities with remarkable success. Elysium, the oldest surviving human city on Mars, was also its most populous; under the Ludei regime it became the richest as well.
The primary geopolitical rival of Elysium was, as it had been for centuries, the Amazonis Bloc to the east. Under the Ludeis, the two powers largely avoided direct military confrontation, but struggled for control over the minor city-states to the north and east of Elysium. These had originally been Elysium tributaries, but had broken free with Amazonis support in the early 4,800's. The eastern states were subsequently swallowed up by the Amazonis Bloc, but Ferrograd and Lucky Strike to the north remained independent, though ruled by pro-Amazonian dynasties. Elysium fought a series of wars of attempted reconquest in the 4,800's with little success, the last of which catalyzed the rise of the Ludei dynasty. The Ludeis used economic pressure and elite intermarriage to turn Ferrograd, and at times Lucky Strike, into supporting allies. The Ludeis also secured economic and military alliances with New Amazonis against their common rival.
While the Ludei dynasty enjoyed an unprecedented run of good leaders, its fortunes began to run dry under the final Autarch, Miraxus II. Weak, frivolous, vain, and indecisive, Miraxus preferred to leave the running of the City to his council of advisors while pursuing his personal pleasures. However, for the first decade of his rule, the city nonetheless continued to enjoy peace and stability.