Blue Giant:Interstellar Nations
There are a vast number of nations in the Milky Way. In the southern arms of the galaxy, planets can have dozens of nations clustered on them. Most of the old earth nations still exist in one (or two, three, or a dozen) form or another. Many nations command several planets. Most are not worth mentioning. Some nations though, span star systems, clusters or even entire quarters of the galaxy. In rough order of size, the human nations are;
- 1 The Astræ'an Empire
- 2 The Federated Territories
- 3 The United Nations Protectorate (UNP)
- 4 The Camby
- 5 The Shanshock
- 6 The United Planets of America (UPA)
- 7 The Netherlands
- 8 The Oruc-Pang
- 9 The United States of America (USA)
- 10 Japan
- 11 Gordon Freeholders
- 12 Settler Youth League Armada (S.Y.L.A)
- 13 Oceanic China
- 14 The Visi
The Astræ'an Empire covers over a quarter of the galaxy, and if it were not for the Groombridge Treaty and the Federation/Empire treaty it would probably cover a lot more. The Astræ'an Empire is ruled absolutely by the Empress Astræ'a, a former lover of the empire's founder and first ruler, Emperor John Braxen. The Astræ'an Empire is at its higher levels an aristocracy. A Duchy is a sector, Counties are star systems and Baronies are continents.
The Empire now is seeing its final days as an average life span of an Astraa'an through genetics is 350 years, and the duchess herself is nearing her end. Without an heir to bequeath the empire, they will have to become into a democracy. Not knowing what the future has for her empire the duchess decides to choose her own close confidants as the rightful aristocrats to the empire letting them make the decisions before her death.
Formally the Federal Alliance, the Federated Territories consists of most of the western half of the galaxy. Although larger by area than the Empire, it has about two-thirds the population. The Federated Territories are a planetary democracy with some of the worlds gaining a vote on the council. Each world is given the status of Independent, Dependant or Colonial. Independent worlds get a say on the council, Dependants get to lobby via the Independent world they depend on and colonial worlds don't matter. This means that other nations that have worlds in the Territories hold some sway over the Federation. The Camby, Shanshock, UPA, Dutch, Japanese, Gordon Freeholders, S.Y.L.A and the Visi hold blocks of votes on the Federation council (as do many, many others).
The United Nations Protectorate mostly exists in the southern rim sectors of the galaxy. It was formed when all the old Cygnan Empire planets and all the earth colonial planets in the Cygnus and Perseus arm were put under control of a United Nations peacekeeping force. Later the UNP was cut loose to fend for itself as the Earth nations concentrated on expansion in other directions. The UNP became a nation proper with the signing of the Groombridge Treaty.
The Camby nation evolved from a particular type of settler philosophy that put family first. The Camby are a semi-religious nepotistic meritocracy. Families are appointed positions of authority, not individuals. The Camby hold very definite views of the current galactic culture. If it isn't their culture then it's probably degenerate. The name Camby evolved from New Cambridge University, Massachusetts where the original Camby settlers learned their Biological and Physical sciences from the university settlers program. The Camby settlers were mostly from Midwest USA, but many settled on colonies abandoned by the Chinese during the Oceanic China / Shanshock civil war, and the Camby absorbed a lot of Chinese peasant culture. Camby planets exist in the Earth Colony zone, the Federated Territories, and the Treaty Zone. There are even a significant number of planets with Camby culture in the Empire, although the Empress, being a disenfranchised Camby settler herself, does her best to lead them into a less 'virtuous' lifestyle.
The Shanshock are a modern, dynamic offshoot of the Oceanic Chinese Nation. The split came when, after the Groombridge Treaty, the Chinese colonies on the federal side of the border were given the choice between keeping ties with China or making new ties with the Federal Alliance. The Shanshock chose to become "Big Fish in a new pond rather than stay minnows in the oceans of Earth History!" The Shanshock are well on their way to becoming the biggest player in the Federal Territories. The Shanshock are a loose plutocracy although they prefer to think of themselves as a socialist republic.
The United Planets of America (UPA)
Like the Shanshock, the UPA came about soon after the Groombridge Treaty when the colonies of the USA were given the chance of freedom from Earth. Unlike the Shanshock, the UPA managed to persuade a large number of independent planets to join them, including a number of worlds run by American corporations. (They promised better tax breaks.) The UPA has over 300 states and its own Federal Government which shouldn't be confused with the Federal Territories, but often is. The UPA is more or less democratic.
The Dutch invented space travel, and for eight hundred years the motto has been, "If you want it to fly, get a Dutchman." Dutch colonies tend not only to control whole planets but they also have national areas on other peoples planets too. The Dutch exist everywhere in the galaxy. Their culture is mostly that of educators, engineers and service personnel. Dutch corporations run starship transport networks, space ports and so on. The original Dutch explorers independence of mind and technical know how was a big influence in the creation of the Oruc-Pang. The Nation of the Netherlands exists mostly as hearsay, but when the Dutch need to make a decision it is made democratically
The Oruc-Pang are one of the larger civilizations in the galaxy, definitely the most spread out and number a little over a trillion people. They are fiercely independent nomads who wander space, and rarely, if ever, land on planets preferring space stations. The Oruc-Pang are the main rivals to the Dutch for control of the merchant space lanes. Unlike all the other nations, the Oruc make no territorial claims on any planet or region of space. The Pang are a different matter, although they claim no planets, they always stake out an area of space. Oruc-Pang culture evolved from settlers who didn't settle down, and just kept travelling. They can be found everywhere in the galaxy.(Although the Pang are outlawed in the Empire, they just shrug and pretend like they're Oruc.) The Oruc-Pang divide themselves up into groups, regional teams, families, clans, companies or any other damn way they please. Most Oruc-Pang have facial tattoos which distinguish which group they are part of. Some keep these tattoos for life, others change them daily.
The United States of America (USA)
The USA is an older, more sedate culture. It is one of the 'grand old ladies' of the cosmos. In the early days of galactic exploration, it was one of the biggest, fastest growing cultures but it suffered several major blows which reduced it to its current 'former empire' status. The first was its reliance on corporate contractors. Gordon Freeholds were a series of colonies sponsored by the US government who became too powerful to control. The eastern galactic colonies were annexed by the Emperor John Braxen, the Cygnus colonies were cut loose because they were not profitable enough and the western colonies became the UPA after the The Groombridge Accord was signed. The USA retained its mid-twenty first century governmental style, but nowadays the spiritual aspects of the presidential office are mostly ceremonial. The USA is still a leader of the Earth colonies and wields a lot of power in the southern sectors of the galaxy.
Japan was for the most part a minor player in the colonization of the galaxy, however in the last hundred years or so it has come back onto the galactic stage with a burning vengeance. There are a number of reasons for this, foremost among them was a recent deregulation of genetic enhancement technology. Most nations have pottered about with the modification of the human genome, but this was outlawed in Japan. When the wall came down the Japanese took the dreams of nine hundred years and ran with them. This caused a cultural explosion which took them to the cutting edge of every major technology. A.I. Cryptography, the Rim Runners Rally (Once round the galactic rim in eight stages and eight days), antimatter particle beam weapons, Soft Genome Technology and so on. If you can't afford it but you want it, the Japanese make it.
When mankind went into space, the USA led the second charge. Every planet the USA settled had its own military base and the Gordon Fusion corporation was the government defence contractor who got the job of building them. The Gordon Fusion Corporation soon became the single largest legal entity ever to have existed and they were experts at 'Turning a world into your Homeworld'. They began to settle worlds through their subsidiary companies, for other nations. Eventually the company became so massive that it 'adjusted its corporate goals' effectively becoming a interstellar nation of its own. The new entity was called the Gordon Freeholds, each freehold being a separate region or corporation, within the umbrella of the new nation.
Famous freeholds include Gordon Fusion, Gordon-Olympus (the homeworld and headquarters), the Gordon-Hammer Corporation (destroyed by the Cat-tail Nebula Rangers for running an interstellar slave-ring), The Gordon-Fir, Gordon-Pine, and Gordon-Cedar settler corporations who exist within the treaty zone and the Gordon-Nishimura Conglomerate who sell spaceships you can't afford. There are many others.
SYLA has its origins in an number of independence movements on settler planets that were taken over by governments and corporations by force. SYLA came into being after the invention of the Singularity Point Interstellar Kommunications Engine, a faster than light communications system that didn't involve a mail man. SYLA members formed organised settler groups who stayed in touch and assisted each other. They had a common defence and economic policy. After colonising several planets, they members realised that they were effectively an interstellar nation unto themselves.
The political structure of SYLA worlds is somewhat vague and loose. Laws and governance tend to be sorted out at the city level. The only exception is, as previously mentioned, planetary defence. Every SYLA world had a mandate to create a number of armed vessels to add to the local sectors Armada. This colonization technique doesn't always work out well, and the SYLA Armada spends a significant percentage of its time policing itself.
Oceanic China is the nation which evolved from the 21st century People's Republic of China. The nation became known as Oceanic China in the 22nd and 23rd century when it colonised much of the Pacific in vast floating island ships. China has always been one of the major powers in space from the 21st century onwards. During the Wonder Years they held the greatest advantage of all the nations. They had experience colonizing Titan and they had a population bursting at the seams, desperate to expand. Oceanic China avoided most of the war with the Cygnans, having colonised in other directions. Oceanic China lost much of its territory after the The Groombridge Accord because of the breakaway of the Shanshock republic. However it is still a major power of the earth colonies and has begun to colonise planets in the southern part of the galaxy that were previously considered unsettleable.
The Visi are a culture rather than a nation. They originated as a group of welfare charities to help settlers who were struggling to survive or who had made mistakes in their choice of home. The charities were funded by Earth and U.N Colonies as well as the Cygnans. The methodology behind the help and assistance given was medical. The charities at first healed the sick. Later they began to promote the idea that only the truly healthy should try to colonies the new worlds. The charities formed into an organisation called VISI which was a great help to many settler worlds to begin with. However, when VISI tried to exert control over who should be allowed to settle new worlds there was a split. Those who allowed VISI to select settlers became VISI worlds, but most did not. The Visi are self-perfectionists. There have been a number of splinter groups, but most Visi are clones of their parents. Each generation's DNA is tinkered with to remove the flaws that the parent perceives within themselves. Visi are male or female and are for the most part regular people, but they take their asexuality and health very seriously. The Visi can be found in both the Empire and the Federation but don't really exist as a culture in the Earth Colony regions. Visi are generally very open to the Cygnan cultures and they can often be found sharing planets.