b. 10 April 411
d. 9 September 459
444 - 459: Emperor of the Terran Empire
James Carroll was the great-grandson of Empress Anna Leonov. His grandfather, Thomas Carroll, was the chief voice among the Carroll-led Hawks who wished to pursue an offensive strategy against the Patalanian Union during the reigns of Mary Tattersall and Charles Castiligoni.
At the instigation of Thomas Carroll, James spent much of his childhood in the company of Marc Jakobbsen, a year his senior. The two boys became fast friends and occasional lovers.
James was an easygoing, sociable child, and kept those qualities into adolesence and adulthood. He made friends easily and inspired loyalty in others. James passed his adulthood tests at age 16, and the next year espoused Karen Wuorio, another scion of the Nobility. Marc Jakobbsen became an informal member of their extended family, and when the couple had a daughter, Catherine, in 428, they named Marc as her godparent.
Politically, James was a firm believer in the Hawk ideology. In his mind, there could be no peaceful coexistence with the Patalanian Union; the Union's very existence was an affront to the Empire. The only way to preserve the Empire and keep the Galaxy from falling apart, he beleived, was an all-out effort to defeat Patala.
Thomas Carroll died in 428, leaving James' father Fred Carroll to inherit the leadership of the Hawks. In a private family ceremony, James vowed that he would carry out Thomas' vision for the future of the Empire.
When Charles Castiligoni died in 430 and Marc Jakobbsen took the Throne, Marc named James as one of his chief advisors and, in the Act of Succession of 431, as his Heir.
James immediately made himself an integral and invaluable part of Marc's government. Indeed, James became the de facto ruler of the Empire, especially when Marc proved incapable of dealing with the challenges of the Hlekkarian Plague. In the wake of the Plague, James was the driving force behind building up the Navy and the war effort.
Marc Jakobbsen died on 24 March 444 while swimming on Promethia. Although James was not present, there was speculation that Marc's death had been arranged, or at least helped along, by the Hawks.
James gave such speculations little time to flourish. As soon as he ascended to the Throne, he bacame a whirlwind of activity. He increased the Navy's budget and appointed a Hawkish Admiral, Julieta Tzomides, as Supreme Admiral. Tzomides shifted forces from one area to another, pursuing a dual strategy of containment in the Transgeled, and offense on the Credix-Patala border. The ultimate goal was to drive Imperial forces into Patala and take the Patalan Star Cluster itself.
Unfortunately, Imperial forces proved unequal to the challenge, and the Credix-Patala advance stalled. The great expense of the effort sent the Imperial Stock Market punging, and the Galactic economy entered a depression phase that lasted throughout James' reign.
In order to get Council support for his plans, James had to make a number of concessions granting the Dukes more power and influence over their Provinces. In particular, the Dove opposition forced through the Act of Provincial Sovereignty, which recognized the sovereignity of the Provinces as superior to the sovereignity of the Empire, thus establishing the right of the Provinces to secede from the Empire under certain circumstances.
As soon as James was confirmed on the Throne, the Imperial Council passed the Acto of Succession of TE 444, which named Catherine Carroll as Heir. When Catherine's first son, John Kuchta, was born, he was named Heir's Heir immediately.
In general, James' reign was marked by increasing dissension among the Nobles, the worst economic downturn in centuries, and a contraction of Imperial power. When he took the Throne, there were a total of 11,215 settled planets in the Galaxy; by the end of his reign, fifteen years later, there were only 11,136.
In 450, James went on a triumphal tour of the Empire along with Catherine and her son John. During the next few years, the strain of rule took its toll, and James aged rapidly. By 454 he was weak and his mind was starting to go; Catherine took over most of the day-to-day governance of the Empire. James lingered for five more years, growing progressively weaker. He died on 9 September 459, at the chronological age of 48 and physical age in excess of 120.
James was succeeded by his daughter, Catherine Carroll.
The Later Kuchta Emperors
The Terran Emperors