The history of the Republic of Haven should serve as a warning for a number of reasons. Well-meaning attempts at ending or mitigating poverty were mismanaged and handled by corrupt politicians, leading to a collapsed economy and a regime built upon conquest. It did not start out that way.
Haven itself was settled a century before Manticore, and the world itself was superb real estate. Between the planet itself and investment from Solarian League-based businesses, Haven swiftly developed into a prosperous colony. However the Havenite government, concerned with inequality within its society, launched welfare measures aimed at curbing this problem. Unfortunately the execution of an Economic Bill of Rights aimed at ensuring a basic standard of living for everyone was flawed, and the well-meaning exercise was hit by higher levels of corruption than in neighbouring systems that followed similar plans. Rising inflation and a weak economy led to a reformation of the Republic into the People’s Republic, and the creation of an impoverished underclass called Dolists, who provided a lot of voting power (not that votes particularly mattered with a Hereditary President). The need to provide a Basic Living Stipend (BLS) forced the Republic to turn to alternative means to secure funds.
The DuQuesne Plan called for Haven to conquer its neighbours and absorb their resources. It removed any pretense of democracy from Haven and in 1846 PD the Haven Navy moved into the Pegasus system, without any formal declaration of war. The local navy was easily defeated, and ten years later Haven invaded the Gaston system. The Gastons had seen what happened to Pegasus but their preparations couldn’t save them from the Haven military machine.
A number of invasions would follow, but the most important strategic, tactical and economic victory, in the short-term at least, would be the taking of Trevor’s Star. This gave Haven control over one of the Manticore Wormhole Termini, and therefore a means of directly attacking Manticore, if they were brave enough.
For the next few years Haven’s policy was to prepare for a war with Manticore. Haven knew Manticore’s naval strength would make them difficult to challenge directly, so they attempted subtle means of seizing the Basilisk system (they sought to generate a diplomatic crisis, though their efforts failed, and led to all Havenite ships being forced to submit for inspection when in Manticoran space), and allied with the Masadans to conquer Grayson and establish a forward base against Manticore, a plan which also failed. They engaged in provocations and even ambushed Royal Navy vessels, ramping up the pressure and hunkering down in readiness for an all-out assault. The situation was finely and dangerously poised.