Despite its name and its outward appearance as a democracy, the Kellarian Republic is an oligarchy run by a select few individuals who rule with an iron fist. Very few members of the population know the truth, and the few that do actually know it either are with the government or are hunted to extinction by the Ordered Sword to keep the population in line.
The Republic was founded an indeterminate amount of time ago, and developed warp drive six months before first contact with the Federation. However, considering that the leaders of the Republic instruct all space-faring members of their society to be as secretive as possible, this may be a lie. For hundreds of years, the Republic reigned over the blinded populace of Kellar Prime, until a certain sect of the populace discovered the truth.
The details regarding the true beginnings of the revolution have been mostly censored by the ruling government, but rumors suggest that a member of the inner circle of the government grew disillusioned with the ruling body and left the planet with a sizable force of the Kellarian military. Because he knew the truth about the government, the remaining members of the governing circle, known as "The 17" to those who know of its existence, began a systematic campaign of extermination against anyone who was known to have connections to the splinter faction. Because the members of the revolution could no longer be safe within the system, the leader decided to leave and settle in a new system. To ensure secrecy, he informed no one, not even his top commanders, of where he planned to take his revolution.
It was late 2383 when the Federation made first contact with the Kellarians. The USS Remington, on a routine scientific mission, discovered four destroyed Revolution vessels. The fourth contained survivors who were brought on board. A lone Revolution attack craft later attempted to attack the ship, which the Revolution leaders had assumed had taken the survivors as captives. However, the Remington destroyed the fighter. Because Kellarians refuse to be treated by anyone other than their own species, the Remington brought on a doctor from a Republic vessel. However, the crew of the Remington was being decieved and was told by the vessel's captain that the survivors were Republic citizens and that the Revolution was hostile. For some strange reason, however, neither the captain nor the doctor of the Republic vessel attempted to kill the survivors. After discovering that the attacking ship belonged to the same species as the survivors brought on board, the Remington set out to find the Revolution's base of operations.