Rise of Conflict
The history of humanity's exploration of the stars is fraught with conflict. As the discovery of faster-than-light travel through slipspace allowed for more colonies on planets further away from Earth, political tensions were strained by the expanding gap in distance, time, and culture. Colonies with little in common with Earth and the inner colonies started desiring independence, but the Earth government didn't want to let go so easily, fearing a loss of economic power and a continued conflict with colonies that were growing larger by the day. Earth, with the use of the United Nations Space Command, flexed its military muscle and attempted to quell rebellions through force, resulting in the implementation of Operation: TREBUCHET, a ten-year campaign to find and neutralize insurrectionist factions in the outer colonies. This was moderately successful, but resulted in the death of over one million civilian lives and even more resentment of Earth and the UNSC.
Facing total civil war, the Office of Naval Intelligence green-lit the Spartan-II program in 2517, a plan to transform gifted children into loyal super-soldiers designed to disrupt and quash Insurrectionist activities. While the program was successful, its use against the Insurrection was short-lived, as humanity faced the full might of the Covenant only a few years later in 2525.
Reduced to a SimmerThe insurrection would likely have gotten even worse in the years following Operation: TREBUCHET if it weren't for the start of the Human-Covenant War. Suddenly facing the threat of a group of technologically advanced aliens, the insurrection lowered to a simmer, and many insurrection forces eventually sided with the UNSC to combat the Covenant. Even so, some groups continued to fight against the UNSC in the early years of the war, at times attempting to ally with the Covenant in order to achive their objectives. The initial onslaught brought on by the Covenant, however, coupled with its focus on the outer colonies, resulted in not just the loss of will for much of the insurrection, but the literal loss of many insurrection strongholds due to war. While the UNSC was eventually able to slow the advance of the Covenant, and through a lot of luck win the war, the majority of outer colony worlds were completely lost, including millions of lives.
United Rebel FrontThe URF is one of the oldest current Insurrectionist groups in the colonies. Their origins date back to 2509, sixteen years before the start of the Human-Covenant War. At the onset of the war in 2525, the group's leader, Colonel Robert Watts, was captured on the first actual mission for the Spartan-II candidates. His capture didn't stop the URF from continuing on, however, and over the next thirty years, they were led by the likes of General Howard Graves, Governor Jacob Jiles, and Captain Ingridson. In 2554 they managed to get an operative into the ultra-elite Spartan-IV program, and only a year later managed to convert another Spartan-IV to their side.
The insurrection grew again in the aftermath of the Human-Covenant War, though at a much reduced capacity. Weakened by decades of conflict, the UNSC did not have the ability to apply force as far out as it once could, and the number of insurrection-friendly colonies had dwindled to a small handfull. Nonetheless, old groups such as the United Rebel Front, as well as new ones like the New Colonial Alliance rose from the ashes to fight the UNSC once again. While UNSC action was able to quash most if not all major insurrectionist actions, many colonies still support rebellion, including the colonies of Venezia and Gao.