(covers information from Imperial Commonwealth of Planets)
|Imperial Commonwealth of Planets|
|Flag of the Imperial Commonwealth of Planets|
April 13, 2376
Federal Crowned Republic
Terra (de facto)
Rome, European continent, Terra
Human, Various (see Imperial Members)
Emperor of the Imperial Commonwealth of Planets
Ricarius Solivade (Emperor)
None (Imperial Sesterces sometimes used in requisitioning)
|War Flag of the Imperial Commonwealth of Planets|
The Imperial Commonwealth of Planets, commonly referred to as the Imperial Commonwealth, New Federation, or simply The Empire, is an interstellar state which developed after the collapse of its predecessor, the United Federation of Planets. It is composed of numerous planetary governments that agreed to exist semi-autonomously under a single central government based on the principle of universal rights and liberties for all species, and to share knowledge and resources in peaceful cooperation, scientific development, space exploration, and mutual protection. Quite possibly most powerful state within its local space, the Empire encompasses more than 8,000 light years worth of territory and is the largest state in the known Alpha and Beta Quadrants. The total number of formal member worlds is believed to be well over one hundred and fifty.
The Imperial Commonwealth is one of three traditional great powers within the known regions of its local space, standing alongside the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Star Empire. Unlike its aforementioned rivals, whose primary races tend to derive power from the subjugation of other species within the boundaries of their domains, the Empire's various planetary members usually join of their own volition, and they are regularly considered to be equals in the Empire's society. However, there is some controversy regarding this notion, considering the disproportionate influence that Terran-born Humans appear to have over the Empire's government and politics. The Imperial Starfleet, the spiritual successor to the Federation's Starfleet (which was itself was derived from United Earth's space force), was incorporated to maintain functions of military and regional defense, but its membership was often called upon to act within the realms of exploration, diplomacy, and scientific advancement as well.
The Imperial Commonwealth of Planets was officially established on the 13th of April, 2376, and claimed to be the lawful successor to the United Federation of Planets. Immediately following the collapse of the Federation, the planetary government of United Earth, ruled by an ex-Federation Council representative by the name of Ricarius Solivade, began the process of transitioning to an autonomous government as efforts were simultaneously made to reach out and regain full jurisdiction of other settlements and bases across the Sol System, as well as several other worlds beyond. the United Earth government, which now held control over the Sol System, Alpha Centauri, and other human-majority settlements throughout the local stellar region, began reaching out to historically sympathetic races, such as the Andorians, Vulcans, and Tellarites, who were also among the first species to found the Federation alongside humanity. With their cooperation, a new organization was soon founded to fill the power gap left behind by the dissolution of the Federation, and ensure the collective welfare of the many species living in former Federation space.
This new organization, officially dubbed the 'Imperial Commonwealth of Planets', declared itself to be founded on many of the same principles that the original Federation held within its Charter and Constitution, however new issues of these documents were drafted with several significant changes. Among the most notable of these changes was a centralization of power and authority into the office of the Imperial Commonwealth's head of state, supposedly in the interest of mitigating the ailments which led to the collapse of the Federation. Ricarius was unanimously chosen to be the first holder of this office, expected to serve for a single lifelong term, under the august title of 'Emperor'. After the final drafts of the Empire's Charter and Constitution were ratified by all prospective members, Emperor Ricarius began a policy of rapid expansion, quickly absorbing many ex-Federation worlds into its borders and sphere of influence. By late 2377, the nascent Empire boasted a membership of around 155 nations, matching approximately the Federation's member count before its collapse, and even exceeding it soon after.
Alongside mostly peaceful relations within the Alpha Quadrant and relatively rapid expansion of its controlled territories, the Empire was involved with some significant conflicts, one of the largest and most prolonged being with the Borg in the late 24th century.
Size and LocationEdit
The Imperial Commonwealth of Planets is located in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy. By the late 2370s, the Empire's territory was spread across greater than 8,000 light years, with a membership of at least 160 worlds and more than 1,000 semi-autonomous colonies. Its major neighboring sovereignties were the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, the Cardassian Union, and the Ferengi Alliance. Other neighboring sovereign states were the Tzenkethi, the Tholian Assembly, the Breen Confederacy, and the Xindi. While the term "Alpha Quadrant" has traditionally been used to refer to the region of space occupied by the Federation and ICP, the Empire also administrates over large territorial claims in the Beta Quadrant, with the Sol system lying approximately near to the border of both quadrants.
- Vulcan (planet)
- Beta Nirobi II
- Europa Nova
Notable Star SystemsEdit
- Sector 001 (Sol System)
- Romulan Neutral Zone
- Klingon Neutral Zone
- ICP-Cardassian border
Despite the name it carries, the Imperial Commonwealth of Planets is generally regarded as an empire only in name and not in practice. The name was chosen in order to represent a shift from decentralized and generally passive political behavior, to a much more centralized and authoritarian government with a somewhat more assertive foreign policy. The name has also had the fringe benefit of earning respect from the Empire's more immediate neighbors, such as the Klingons and Romulans, as well as to intimidate some of the Empire's more unscrupulous enemies. Few genuine tyrannical or oppressive qualities have been exhibited in the Empire's domestic policy, though its foreign policies, especially regarding military decisions, are notably more aggressive and expansionist than the Federation ever was. The Empire is a self-proclaimed Federal Republic with an elected monarch as the head of its executive branch, formally referred to as Emperor. An election is held every time the previous Emperor resigns, dies, or is unable to fulfill his/her duties, being that the Emperor serves for life once elected.
The Executive BranchEdit
The executive branch is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Empire. The head of this branch is referred to by the title of 'Emperor', with most citizens giving him the style of 'His/Your Imperial Majesty', or simply 'His/Your Majesty'. As chief executive officer of the government, the Emperor determines most of the Empire's domestic and foreign policy, as well as managing budgetary concerns and serving as the supreme commander of the Empire's military forces. The Emperor's office and throne are located in the Palace of Unity, a structure which was built in the Earth city of Rome on the European continent. Serving at the Emperor's pleasure is an Imperial Cabinet, which acts as a special executive committee to assist in carrying out the Emperor's governmental decisions and actions in affairs unrelated to Starfleet. In military and exploratory matters, however, the Emperor tends to seek advice and counsel primarily from a special committee of three of Starfleet's most distinguished command officers - Captain Benjamin Sisko, Captain Kathryn Janeway, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard - along with their respective senior officer staff members.
Several significant differences exist between the Emperor of the ICP and the equivalent office of the Empire's predecessor, the Federation. Included among these is that, in accordance with his position as Emperor, he is treated as a lawful holder of royal standing. The most glaring example of this is that all members of Starfleet, from the highest ranking Admiral to the lowly crewman, are each expected to recognize that their first duty as members of Starfleet is to 'carry out the Emperor's will as [his] loyal servants'. The Emperor also commonly adorns himself with ornate and decorative regalia appropriate for royalty during formal ceremonies and special occasions in the Empire. Despite the pomp and circumstance in such ceremonies, as well as the high honors bestowed upon the Emperor, it has been insisted that such stature is not indicative of limitless or tyrannical authority over the government or people. The powers of the Emperor are generally regarded as being roughly equivalent to that of its preceding office, that of the President of the Federation, with the primary difference being that the Emperor serves a single term for life once elected.
The Empire also maintained a number of executive agencies that assisted in the administration of its affairs:
- Archaeology Council
- Astronomical Committee
- Bureau of Industrialization
- Bureau of Penology
- Bureau of Planetary Treaties
- Commonwealth Central
- Department of Cartography
- Department of Temporal Investigations
- Imperial Naval Patrol
- Imperial Planetary Defense
- Imperial Starfleet – see below.
- Institute of Science
- Standards Measurement Bureau
- Terraform Command
Several press agencies regularly operate within the Empire and dispense news to its citizens, though they are generally not affiliated with the Empire's government:
- Commonwealth News Service
- Terra Broadcasting Company
- Solar News Network
- Starfleet Broadcasting (subsidiary of Imperial Starfleet)
Past and Present Serving EmperorsEdit
See: Ricarius Solivade.
The Imperial Senate is the unicameral legislative body of the Empire. Composed of representatives from the various member worlds, the Imperial Senate holds the power to create, amend, and ratify Imperial law. The Senate also possesses some minor influence over the operations of the Empire's military service, the Imperial Starfleet. The Senate sometimes serves as a grand jury within specially-convened courts-martial, and on occasion issues operational orders to Starfleet with the consent of the Emperor. In terms of foreign policy, the Senate also holds responsibility in ratifying any treaties signed with a foreign power, as well as approving a declaration of war made by the Emperor. There are two physical meeting chambers where the Senate may usually convene, one being in the Earth city of San Francisco, on the west coast of the North American continent, and another in the Palace of Unity, located in the European city of Rome.
The judiciary is the branch of government responsible for resolving legal disputes. It consists of a hierarchy of courts, with the Imperial Supreme Court at its apex. Imperial courts occasionally rely on panels of citizens known as juries. The Imperial Grand Jury hears testimony as part of criminal investigations, while the Imperial Special Jury tries war criminals. Alongside the civilian courts, Starfleet has its own system of martial courts.
The fundamental political principles and laws of the Empire derived from two important documents:
- The Imperial Charter was the document ratified by the original members of the Imperial Commonwealth of Planets at the organization's founding in 2376. This document was greatly influenced by the Federation Charter, mirroring most of its declarations but with minor alterations to fit the present day.
- The Imperial Constitution incorporated a series of enumerated rights to which all sentient beings were regarded as being entitled, collectively referred to as the Fidelities. The Seventh Fidelity of the Imperial Constitution protected individuals from self-incrimination, while the Twelfth Fidelity protected the rights of artists and inventors. Much like the Imperial Charter is influenced by the Federation Charter, the Imperial Constitution was also influenced by its predecessor document, the Constitution of the Federation.
Other rights and responsibilities for citizens derived from:
- The Imperial Judicial Code, which provided guidelines and regulations related to legal issues.
- Starfleet General Orders and Regulations, a series of guidelines used to instruct members of Starfleet on the proper etiquette and policy in a situation that requires consultation for a resolution.
- The Imperial Uniform Code of Justice, which formed the legal basis of Starfleet court martial proceedings.
Exploration and Military DefenseEdit
The Imperial Starfleet is the deep-space exploratory and defensive service maintained by the Imperial Commonwealth of Planets. Much of the Imperial Starfleet's rules, regulations, and traditions come from the Starfleet of the Federation. Its principal functions are the advancement of Imperial knowledge of science and technology, the enlightenment of Imperial knowledge to the galaxy at large, and most importantly, the defense and execution of military interests of the Empire. In addition, it also plays a significant diplomatic role. As per its mandate of deep-space exploration, its personnel are frequently brought into contact with cultures and sentient species whose existences were previously unknown to the Empire. Imperial Starfleet officers therefore act as official representatives of the Empire in these cases. Also, Imperial Starfleet vessels are frequently used to ferry ambassadors on diplomatic missions. In times of war, the Imperial Starfleet takes on the role of a naval offensive force, engaging enemy forces with aim to destroy their military power base and ensure the swift suppression of any resistance against Imperial mandates.
A covert and officially non-existent espionage organization within the Imperial Starfleet, the Imperial Inquisition, is also maintained in the shadows. This organization is the direct descendant of the Federation's Section 31 organization, and it follows the same fundamental law as its predecessor: The ends justify the means. The Inquisition operates covertly, dealing both in foreign and domestic affairs as a secondary intelligence agency and secret police force respectively. However, it carries out many of its actions in a slightly different manner than how its predecessor did in the Federation. In the Federation, Section 31 had the powers of judge, jury, and executioner within its jurisdiction, and it filed no reports to anyone outside the organization, making it virtually autonomous. In the Empire, the Inquisition instead answers to only one person, the Emperor, and it may carry out no extreme action without the Emperor's consent.
Even before the founding of the Empire in the late 24th century, capitalism was no longer the dominant economic system of Earth. Due to the advent of replicator technology, human society had reached virtual post-scarcity, with the economic policies of nations at the time being replaced by a global entity known as the New World Economy. Under this new economic system, material needs and currency no longer existed as they did in the past, and humanity was believed by many to have grown out of its infancy, so to speak. People were no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things like those who lived in the early 21st century and before, seemingly eliminating famine, poverty, and the need for possessions which became nearly valueless in the new age. The challenge and driving force for most humans was then to seek self-improvement, self-enrichment, and contribute to the betterment of all humanity.
Although all citizens of the ICP are given access to most items and services freely, thanks to the advent and spread of replication technology, some luxury items and services can still be requisitioned using Imperial Sesterces, and private businesses from other races such as the Ferengi are sometimes permitted to operate on Imperial stations within lawful limitations. However, despite the Empire's domestic economic policies, it continues to deal with other cultures and states which continue to employ currency-based economies. The Ferengi in particular are quite scornful of the Empire's disregard for currency within their state, but they still negotiate trade agreements with each other on a regular basis.
Admittance into the Empire is usually by invitation or successful petition of a world or civilization desirous of joining. In the second case, membership is granted only upon satisfaction of certain requirements. Firstly, the government of the prospective member would submit an official petition to the Imperial Senate, outlining its desire to join. A lengthy, thorough investigation of the prospective member's culture followed. This investigation could take several years, and was done to ascertain whether or not the culture genuinely shared the values of the Empire: benevolence, peaceful co-existence and co-operation, the rule of law, and equal rights and justice. Only occasionally were some star systems forcefully assimilated into the Empire after conflicts, usually taking a very long time to officially admit them as a member world.
Even before any investigation can be conducted, the prospective member has to meet certain requirements. These are as follows:
- It has to have an "advanced level of technology." The Empire's baseline definition of this term is the capability for faster-than-light space travel.
- Its government had to have achieved stable planetary political unity, respecting the rights of the individual.
- No form of caste discrimination is to be practiced.
- See also: List of Imperial members
Most relations with other powers are peaceful or quiet, though some have a history of conflict with the Empire.
- Imperial Relations with the Borg Collective
- Imperial Relations with the Cardassian Union
- Imperial Relations with the Dominion
- Imperial Relations with the Ferengi Alliance
- Imperial Relations with the Klingon Empire
- Imperial Relations with the Romulan Star Empire
As the lawfully-recognized successor state of the Federation, the Empire still participates in these treaties originally signed under the Federation.
- Cheron Accords
- Khitomer Accords
- Frontier Accord
- Neutral Zone Treaty
- Treaty of Algeron
- Treaty of Alliance
- Treaty of Ectair
It has also forged new treaties under its identity as the ICP after conflicts of its own.
- Treaty of Wolf 359
- Treaty of Sagittarius A*
The Empire has been involved in few conflicts during its history, though some significant crises have taken place.
There are 2 official emblems that represent the Imperial Commonwealth of Planets: The Seven-Pointed Star, a symbol of the Empire's expansive might and shining glory, and the Great Seal of the Empire, a recycled and slightly refitted modification of the Great Seal of the Federation. The Flag of the Imperial Commonwealth of Planets is also a prominent Imperial symbol, often displayed at government buildings, official events, and at state and Starfleet funerals. The Anthem of the Imperial Commonwealth of Planets is the official musical composition of the Empire, and the March of the Emperor is the official musical composition of the Empire's executive head, played during speeches or inaugurations. Both the anthem and the march were composed by the Empire's first Emperor, Ricarius Solivade.
Commendations and AwardsEdit
As a government body, the Imperial Commonwealth of Planets issues awards and medals for beneficial military or exploratory service. While many of these are generally given to members of the Imperial Starfleet, there are some that are for citizens in general. The constituent nation-states of the Empire also sometimes have their own similar awards. One such award that is given to members of the Imperial Starfleet during victories in battle is the Andorian Battle Star which recognizes command officers that have displayed who demonstrate superior tactical abilities.
The Imperial Commonwealth of Planets is religiously secular, though it, unlike its predecessor, has been working to reinvigorate religious belief among its citizens, rather than suppress it. Its many citizens celebrate Empire Day as their national holiday.
When the Empire was fully established, it began a program known as "The Anti-Purge", in which the Empire allowed, even urged, its citizens to adhere to any religion of choice, particularly if said religion was relevant to the ancestral culture of the citizen choosing their faith. The purpose of this was to renew cultural identity and 'instill the power of faith in conjunction with sentient willpower for a new sense of hope, unity, and peace'. Despite this reform, atheists and agnostics retain the same rights as any other citizen of the Empire.
Problems regarding religion also existed in the Empire, namely the presence of a cult known as 'Alternianism' within the Empire's borders. Little was known about this faith, aside from that members of the faith worship 12 beings supposedly from a higher dimension. According to their doctrine, these beings created our world after completing a series of trials in a game-like environment. Rumors have circulated that the Emperor himself was a member of and even leading this cult, but such rumors were generally regarded as lies and slander.
The citizens pay homage to the Empire and its leader every 13th of April on Empire Day, a celebration of the creation of the Empire. On the 5th anniversary of the Empire's creation, the Emperor issued for several shuttles, fighters, tanks, and troops to march through St. Peter's Square in a military parade. He issued that a similar parade must occur in the Square of St. Peter in Rome every 5 years, as a show of power and might to citizens and to instill fear to other space-faring territories that would do the Empire harm. A week after the first parade, both Klingon and Romulan delegates were said to have declared that their empires had gained a much greater respect for the ICP's military might, though this may have been a false statement generated as domestic propaganda.
Standards and IdealsEdit
Unlike the Federation of yesteryear, the Empire permits and sometimes even encourages many freedoms the Federation kept under lock and key. The most prominent example, as previously mentioned, is the freedom of religion. Religion was viewed as a "vice of reason" and the source of disunity and conflict throughout human history in the Federation's eyes. The Empire inversely views religion as a catalyst for all great things humanity has done, and a source of hope in the face of the unknown. As long as the Empire's citizens continue to pay attention to reason, intellectualism, and the rights of all species, any religion is welcome in the Empire's borders.
Another permitted liberty within the Empire that was restricted in the Federation was the right to compose art. While art was viewed positively in the Federation, especially classical art and music, there were certain forms of art that were viewed as barbaric, such as rock and roll music and art that might inadvertently serve as propaganda against the state. All compositions of art and music are permitted, even 'barbaric' compositions such as hip-hop and heavy metal music. The Emperor himself is a proud consumer of all forms of art, ranging from the classical to the post-modern, and he made a firm point about it in a speech to his people:
"While the message of a form of art is important, also pay attention to the beauty of the composition itself. If a painting looks pleasing to the eye, enjoy it. If music has a catchy tune or pleasant rhythm, enjoy it. If a book has an interesting plot, enjoy it. I listen to both Johann Sebastian Bach and Ozzy Osbourne. I take in both the painted works of Michelangelo and the graffiti art of Shepard Fairey. I love to read and reread both H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds and Andrew Hussie's Homestuck. If you have a problem with certain forms of art, then you have absolutely no obligation to indulge in it... But please, do not curtail the liberty of others to enjoy the art that they find alluring."
- Emperor Ricarius at a State of the Empire address, St. Peter's Square, Rome, Terra.
See main article: Imperial Standard