The Most Serene Republic of the Central Galactic Union is a republic which comprises the entirety of the Milky Way galaxy, commonly referred to simply as the Republic or the CGU from its acronym. It is a representative democracy composed of around 100 billion planets scattered throughout some 250 billion star systems, of which only 13% have been mapped and explored. The Central Galactic Union officially claims either direct rule or indirect hegemony over all of the star systems and worlds of the Milky Way Galaxy.
As its name implies, it is ostensibly a union or federation of member worlds. In practice, the central government asserts a high degree of control and oversight onto the member worlds, which are organized into administrative units composed of several million planets. It is organised broadly into administrative units called Sectors. These units administrate a total of 510,000,000 human-populated member worlds and colony planets, with many times more than this administrated directly by the central government with minimal or no human or alien settlement. These worlds contain a population of 232 trillion humans, 30 trillion free aliens, and 164 trillion servile aliens. The union also contains some 100 trillion sapient synthetic lifeforms, roughly four-fifths of whom are of human manufacture. All humans and human-made synthetic lifeforms are citizens, and only such persons can become citizens. The society of the CGU is hierarchical, with citizens at the apex of society, followed by free aliens and alien-made synthetic lifeforms, whom have limited rights and liberties, and with aliens and non-sapient synthetics at the bottom, having no rights or liberties. Non-sapient animals, both wildlife and domestic, hold unique legal protections while not being capable of exercising freedoms. While all citizens are equally subject to the law, some citizens have privileges and responsibilities based upon certain legally-defined statuses.
Being that it legally composes the Milky Way in its entirety, the CGU is the galaxy's most populous state, with the greatest cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity of any political entity known to history. It is the first state known to bring the entire Galaxy under the rule of a single government. It has the largest economy known, bringing together the economies of its member worlds. While the Union's economy as a whole is considered post-industrial and primarily commercial, its member worlds have economies that range from highly developed, service-oriented economies to industrialized worlds, to developing agrarian planets. Most worlds have self-sufficient economies, but many others are dependent upon imports and exports within a galactic network of trade and commerce.
The Union came into being on 20 April 3275, in the aftermath of the Great War. Driven by the doctrines of National Humanism and Imperial Manifest Destiny, guided by the National Humanist Imperial Labor Party, and led by Terran Emperor Maximilian Charles I, the united nations of the Interstellar Treaty Organization fought a war of conquest and unification which saw the abolition of the preceding interstellar empires and the reorganization of the galaxy under the Republic. The country's constitution was adopted ten days after its foundation after the Galactic Constitutional Convention crafted a draft and presented it to the provisional legislature. The constitution established the current unified government, abolished fractious political parties and organizations, and guaranteed fundamental civil rights to its citizenry.
The official name of the state is the Most Serene Republic of the Central Galactic Union. The first part is an appellation granted to many republics throughout history, "Most Serene" referring specifically to the hopes for peace and harmony within the state. The latter is a derivation of the Republic's previous incarnation, the Central Galactic Confederation. The Confederation existed from 1 November 3270 to the adoption of the Union Constitution on 20 April 3275. As such, the Republic is often referred to as the Union, the Central Galactic Union, the Galactic Union, or the Galactic Republic in common speech, poetry, and even in official documents. The abbreviation "CGU" is often used for state offices and bureaus, and branches of the military.
In the 31st, 32nd, and 33rd centuries, the National Humanist Imperial Labor Party developed and rose to power in the Terran Empire. The Party advocated a national programme of integralism, corporatism, socialism, and nationalism centred around the human race. Over time, this came to include synthetics built by humans, as these were deemed to have sufficient traits to be defined as human. The Party combated the forces of radical communism, reactionary conservatism, and pro-alien liberalism to become the most popular and powerful party in the Terran Empire, with significantly large branches in other states of the ISTO. The ideology of National Humanism appealed across a broad spectrum of voters, and became the dominant party of the Imperial Parliament in the mid-3200s, having already come to dominate colonial and provincial assemblies.
From this tradition arose several leaders in the 3230s through 3260s, who constructed policy in the Empire towards a militaristic, industrialist, and nationalist paradigm which sought a cold war against both the Communist bloc and the xenocapitalist Free Interstellar Group of Nations. Among these were Frederick Rycon, Shannon McGrady, George Francis Rothschild, Henry Addington, and the young Crown Prince Maximilian. This culminated in the Great War, waged from 3265 to 3275, in which the Terran Empire and the other member nations of the ISTO defeated and conquered all other spacefaring nations of the Milky Way. Maximilian became Party leader in 3266 and Prime Minister not long afterwards. Starting in 3268, Emperor Maximilian Charles I of the Terran Empire directed the strategic operations of the ISTO successfully in an aggressive assault, gaining the political capital to push for greater unity between the allies. In 3270, they formed the Confederation of Human Nations, renamed the Central Galactic Confederation in 3271, as an international body to coordinate their economic and military resources beyond the constraints of the strategically-focused Interstellar Treaty alliance. The Confederation was guided by a Consular system of government, with the heads of state of the member nations forming a Board of Consuls, with Maximilian presiding as the Confederation's First Consul. The model of consular government would form one of the pillars of the Union's constitution. The legislative action of the CGC was carried out by a Confederate Assembly, which was dominated by the international coalition of National Humanist parties, with minority representation of various national-conservative parties.
In February 3275, the war came to a decisive conclusion with the fall of Liberalis, the capital world of the United Suns government and the headquarters of the Free Interstellar Group of Nations, following a siege and orbital bombardment. In the following months, the National Humanist coalition in the Confederate Assembly proposed further measures of unification. A Constitutional Convention was chartered by the Assembly to draft a new constitution. On 30 March, the Assembly voted by a 90% majority to dissolve and abolish all member nations of the Confederation and divide them into autonomously-governed star systems. On 20 April, the Constitutional Convention submitted their final draft to the Assembly, which was passed unanimously. The galaxy was reorganized as the Central Galactic Union, a semi-federal republic.
The provisional government of the CGU set about ensuring that the constitution was able to be enforced and carried out. Designed to last until the January elections in 3276, the provisional government established the Council of Ministers, organized the military, and unified all social services under the aegis of a large bureaucracy. The provisional Congress consisted of the Confederate Assembly plus the hereditary nobles of the ISTO member states, most of whom were monarchies with distinct peerages.
The provisional government period was one of the most difficult in the Union's history, despite lasting just over eight months, as it tested the transition from the multi-empire alliance of the ISTO and the Confederation to the unified Republic of the CGU. Maximilian was nominated and unanimously elected provisional Chancellor of the Union, and was voted Dictatorial powers by the provisional Congress in order to stabilize the republic and carry out any needed adjustments to the local laws to bring them into line with the burgeoning galaxy-wide code of law. Unifying the myriad of common law, civil law, and traditional law jurisdictions on populated worlds, colonies, and space habitats were a daunting challenge.
The Administrative Act, promulgated on 3 May 3275, marked the most significant reform to galactic government. The member worlds and star systems of the Union were grouped into administrative districts of differing types, each acting as the baseline unit of organization for pan-Galactic social services, defence, and judiciary. Military units were structured as having a particular administrative district as its area of responsibility. Each district was granted its own circuit courts of appeal. Trade and commerce commissions were organized for each district, as well a district-level administration for every service governed by the ministries. Each district was to be governed by a magistrate with the title of Consul. This limited the number of Consuls to just seventy-four individuals, not including the First Consul. The Constitution mandated the organization of a board of Consuls, nebulously defined as an "administrator of one of the federal constituent bodies", which was left undefined. Some argued the term was meant to imply planetary governors, some that it meant star system governors. In the end, the Administrative Act defined the term clearly, and set in place a hierarchy of sub-consular governing officials. The Council of Consuls met for the first time on 1 November 3275, as a component of the large Executive Council. Philip Rycon was appointed both First Consul and Prime Minister.
The first galaxy-wide elections were held on 3 January 3276. The general election filled the Congressional Senatorial seats and saw the appointment of Tribunes by election of their peers, including the election Senator Shannon McGrady as Chief Tribune. One day later, the Congress elected Maximilian Compton to his first constitutional 12-year term as Supreme Chancellor. He was again voted dictatorial powers by Congress; however, Chancellor Maximilian has rarely used them except in emergency peacekeeping situations. The 1st Central Galactic Congress convened with its full membership of Senators, Tribunes, and Peers on 1 February.
Colonial insurrections, alien remnant forces, and a communist insurgency were threats to galactic peace and were dealt with accordingly by the Armed Forces and the newly-expanded Security Forces. The Outer Rim Insurrection of 3279 was put down with appropriate use of force in Operation Crassus. State Security generals Brian Kessar and Victor Peiper earned numerous decorations for their command of armoured forces in the conflict, and State Security marshal William McGrady was created a Baron for his able management of the Security Forces in the conflict. General Admiral Charles Wilkins Taylor was appointed Chief of Space Operations due to his valorous conduct of space combat forces. Half a billion human civilians and around six million servicemembers died in the conflict. However, as this occurred in the Occupied Territories, it was viewed as a natural consequence of pacifying a conquered area of space.
Rather, the internal stability and confidence in the Republic was shaken in the summer of 3280 with the violent Keystone Incident. A coordinated nuclear terror attack by colonial insurgents on major population centres on the planet Keystone, followed by systematic hacking and deorbiting of the planet's satellite defence and communications network, plunged the planet into chaos and civil war. Only the timely arrival of Space Forces and State Security troops, assisted by existing State Security intelligence agents, stabilized Keystone and put down the insurgency. The Colonial Bureau instituted a free democratic election on the planet to replace its slain governor. This would prove to be a boon to restoring stability, and inspired the passage of the Organic Government Act of 3282, which instituted gubernatorial elections for all colonial worlds. Today, roughly a third of colonial worlds in the Union elect their governors by simple-majority popular referendum. The rest are governed by appointed magistrates. Planets within the Occupied Territories are statutorily excluded from the provisions of the Organic Government Act, and can only be governed by appointed military or Security Forces officials.
The Act served to provide stability to worlds which had some resentment towards centrally-administered government, allowing people to have a say in their local governments beyond legislative assemblies. Other legislation formed in the aftermath of the Keystone Incident as well, such as the Antiterrorism Act, which enabled the Republic Security Department to deploy three-person teams to conduct executive tribunals of suspected threats to the immediate security and peace of the Republic, at all levels.
A series of conflicts between organised criminal groups, mercenaries, and military-security forces came to a head in late 3284 and through 3285, dubbed the Pirate War. It was the culmination of state antipiracy campaigns and internecine conflict between pirate and criminal groups, augmented by mercenary free companies. The conflict ended with the destruction of several violent pirate gangs, and the cooperation of legalised "privateer" groups to keep the peace and end systemic violence. The government proceeded with significant funding of education and welfare programs in the regions most affected by pirate violence, and increased State Security presence. The late 3280s were a period of stabilisation after the rougher times in which the New Galactic Order was established.
The interwar period came to an end in the middle of 3288, when a Union exploratory fleet was attacked by alien raiders in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The raiders were a patrol force from the Zaaroft Imperium, a heretofore unknown alien empire controlling the Magellanic Clouds. The fleet's escort was able to fend off the attackers long enough to make an escape jump back to the Milky Way. Real-time reporting of the incident made it clear that the alien attacks were hostile, violent, and eager to destroy any intruders of the Magellanic Clouds. The Union declared war and dispatched a large expeditionary force to conduct a punitive campaign. The goals of the Magellanic War have morphed, following significant defeats in 3295 and the Zaaroft incursion into the Milky Way's Far Rim in 3296, to the complete neutralisation of a significant and obvious threat to galactic peace and humanity.
Domestically, the galaxy has seen a period of peace and development not seen in centuries. Aside from the regions affected by the Zaaroft Incursion, the Union remains largely at peace and undisturbed by major revolt or insurrection. The formerly-active terrorist networks and revolutionary armies that plagued the Late Empire were effectively defeated and disbanded between the 3260s and the 3280s. The occasional terrorist attack and armed revolt occurs in colony worlds, but nothing like the Keystone Incident has yet reoccurred. The Central Galactic Government continues to invest financial and organisational effort into infrastructure, social services, business and industry, land development, and human development at every level.
Astrography and environment
The Central Galactic Union legally comprises the entirety of the Milky Way galaxy, including protectorates and occupied zones of control. The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy that contains between 100 and 400 billion stars, estimated to be closer to 250 billion. There are likely at least 100 billion planets in the Milky Way, most of them gas giants. However, only some 13% of the galaxy has been mapped and explored and 4% of its worlds have been colonised by some sentient species. Human habitation has been established on 1 billion planetary systems, though significant human habitation has only occurred on around 510 million worlds and most worlds boast some combination of human and non-human sentient habitation. Of these, around 100 million hold the status of member worlds of the Republic; the other 400 million are colonies. Roughly 1 billion worlds bore almost strictly indigenous sapient alien habitation, with no human colonisation; these were conquered during the course of the Great War and assimilated into the Republic as occupied territories and protectorates.
Between 3288 and 3295, the Union also controlled around a third of the Large Magellanic Cloud. After being repulsed by the Zaaroft Imperium in 3295, the occupation of this territory was dismantled. However, starting in 3299, occupation resumed of some portions of the Large Magellanic Cloud. The LMC is part of a system of dwarf galaxies that are in close proximity to the Milky Way.
Based upon data gathered in the 3296 Federal Census and extrapolated from previous census data (the 3286 and 3276 Federal Censuses) and more local population measures, the Central Galactic Union hosts a total known population of 526 trillion sentient beings. Less than half of this population, around 232 trillion persons, are humans, who are afforded citizenship by right of birth. Around 100 trillion citizens are of synthetic origin, who are afforded citizenship by law based upon the conditions of their manufacture. Aliens are categorized as free, comprising some 60 trillion sentients, and unfree or servile which is composed of 134 trillion sentient aliens. The human population has a total averaged growth rate of 0.21% annually, or around 460 billion people being born per year. This rate is an average of the whole, and different worlds have widely divergent growth rates based upon local conditions, culture, and initial population. The human population as originally measured in 3276 was around 220 trillion, which had increased to 228 trillion by the time of the 3286 Federal Census.
The alien population is strictly controlled, and growth is negligible; the original 3276 alien population was 230 trillion, and declined between 3276 and 3296 at a rate of 0.84% per year, or 1.8 trillion annually, but has since stabilised. Various reasons have been given for this decline, including alien involvement in mass insurrection and consequent casualties from suppression of rebel activity, endemic crime in alien communities, alien-specific disease pandemics, and simple population control when compared against normal death rates in various alien species. Different alien races have widely different birth, death, and population growth/decline rates; there are 11 million known alien species that are classified as being of near human-level sentience and capable of abstract thought, though less than 10% of these are capable of behavioural modernity. Less than 5,000 known alien species were indigenously capable of industrially modern activity, including spacefaring technology and space exploration. All known alien species are under strict legal control of movement, technology usage, and development.
The human population is distributed by age into groups, based upon the number of Earth years a person has lived: 16.5% are less than fifteen years of age, 60.4% are between 15 and 60 years of age, 13% are between 61 and 90 years of age, around 10% are between 90 and 120 years of age, and less than 1% are over the age of 120 years. The age distribution is overwhelmingly skewed towards younger age groups, with humans less than 60 comprising 77% of the human population; a significant portion (73% of the group) of the 15 to 60 age group are between 20 and 30 years of age. This is attributable to the postwar population boom occurring near the end of the Great War and after its conclusion in 3275, as many veterans returning home were afforded lucrative careers, some in the new Union military, as well as higher education and land grants, providing them the financial stability necessary for raising large families.
In addition to its organic human population, around 100 trillion citizens are synthetic humans. Despite common misuse of terms, "synthetic human" is not necessarily synonymous with "robot" as only 3% of the synthetic citizen population is known to possess mobile platforms, and less than 1% of all robotic mobile platforms are synthetic citizens. Synthetic humans are self-aware computing systems capable of learning, abstract thought, and independent decision-making. They are granted the legal status of citizens and humans, and accordingly the civil, political, economic, and legal rights of humans, on the basis of origin. A synthetic is considered human if they are created by a human, or by a synthetic that was descended from a human creation, but not if they were created by an alien. Not all synthetic intelligences are considered human; a synthetic of human-level sentience has to be purposely built to possess such intelligence. The vast majority of synthetic intelligences are non-citizen Virtual Intelligence systems and "brick" Artificial Intelligence, which generally lack the highly adaptive learning and ingenuity of synthetic citizens. Most alien-built artificial intelligences were destroyed or otherwise deactivated at the end of the Great War.
Race and ethnicity
Racial and ethnic identity is a complex issue in the Central Galactic Union. The Union has a national policy of cultivating a common national identity on the basis of belonging to humanity. The Republic's human population is very racially and ethnically heterogeneous and diverse, and ethnicity has been defined along many lines, including linguistic, cultural, genetic, religious, regional, and national. The Federal Census presents several categories of ethnic identity, and encourages respondents to write-in an answer where none is present in the main census form.
The human species is divided into two extant subspecies: Homo sapiens sapiens and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Both are considered fully human and are accorded birthright citizenship. The H. s. sapiens subspecies is normatively described as "Human" and the H. s. neanderthalensis subspecies is normatively described as "Neanderthal" even though both fall into the genus Homo and species H. sapiens. Many biological, anthropological, sociological, and political science researchers have noted that this represents an endemic bias against Neanderthal humans, often on the basis of modern neanderthalensis' origins.
The Neanderthal species went largely extinct around 42,000 BCE; however, scientific evidence arose in the 21st century that indicated the closeness of the two species, including evidence that sapiens had likely interbred with neanderthalensis prior to the latter's extinction. This occurred around the same time as human behavioural modernity. The Neanderthal Genome Project sequenced the Neanderthal genome, through bone fragments and trace genetic markers in living humans, by the year 2100. Proposals to "breed back" Neanderthals were met with opposition by Earth governments for reasons of finance, necessity, and ethical considerations regarding eugenics and breeding people as test subjects. The NGP opted for cloning instead, which met with less opposition but was still delayed and had funding diverted for UN space colonisation and defence projects. The NGP cloning program met with failure for many decades before the first viable and "genetically approximate" H. s. neanderthalensis were created in 2219. The subjects were limited to small groups of cloned humans for controlled study of lifespan, fertility, and behaviour, until a large-scale cloning project was initiated in 2287 to create a breeding population. A set of 5,000 breeding pairs with induced genetic variation were created in 2300.
After the group began breeding in the 2320s, the program largely relied on continued natural breeding and settlement to expand the population to a something viable. Later extrasolar colonisation often included some groups of Neanderthal settlers, considered valuable for their genetic predisposition for adaptability in cold climates. The legal, political, and civil rights of Neanderthals were established in the early 2340s, before the separation of Terran colonies into independent nations, and the common law system of the human nations carried on the precedent of Neanderthal citizenship. However, cultural integration was a slow and difficult process and Neanderthal populations have been historically concentrated in Terran colonies, leading to more consistent cultural and social acceptance in the former Terran Empire. The growth rate varies from community to community, but with a current population of around 2.3 trillion descended largely from the original 10,000 population, the Neanderthal subspecies has a population growth rate of 2% when averaged from the original clonal population to the most recent Federal Census. The Neanderthal subspecies comprises around 1% of the human population of the Republic. Ethnographic data for the Neanderthal population is difficult to distinguish from the rest of the human population, as most Neanderthals associate themselves with local ethnic identities. Any ethnic or cultural distinctions within Historical Neanderthals are unknown due to lack of evidence. However, around 12% of Neanderthals report participating in the "Neanderthal Revival," a cultural and ethnic movement defined as "reviving or reconstructing, in a modern context, the known cultural, behavioral, and spiritual traits of historical Neanderthal man in its modern population."
The rest of the human race, 230 trillion members of the species Homo sapiens sapiens, is composed of a large number of ethnicities, some of which originate and descend from Earth indigenous ethnic groups, and some of which developed in the process of colonisation of space. Some of the most prominent ethnicities have been formed by deliberate policy of large interstellar empires to create a common identity that transcends traditional racial and ethnic lines. Many historical racial designations and ethnic identities are no longer in common everyday use, and the human population is ethnically heterogeneous and blended such that ethnic lines are not always clear. Racial and ethnic mixing has always been a significant factor in human ethnic identity, and 86% of the human population reports belonging to two or more distinct ethnic groups.
Colonial settlement patterns have dictated the ethnic make-up of humanity, and the earliest settlement trends have had an enormous influence on continued patterns of ethnic identity and settlement. The first few centuries of human settlement of space between the late 21st century and the end of the 24th century saw considerable exodus of European, East Asian, South Asian and North American people into the Sol System and beyond into the Local Spur and the Orion Arm. The predominant racial groups were Europeans, European-Americans from both North and South America, Hindustanis, Arabs, and Han, Hui, Zhuang, and Manchu Chinese. Later groups that became prominent in the settlement of space were Japanese, Bengalis, Javanese, Bakongo, Asian-Americans from North America, and Asian-Europeans. These groups came to redefine themselves along national lines as humanity coalesced into distinct interstellar political entities. The three largest national-identity groups comprise 60% of the human population.
The largest national group are Terrans, defined as the people who inhabit regions formerly part of the Terran Empire, which comprise 29% of the human population. Terrans are very diverse, with European-American (13%), Han (10.5%), Hindustani (9.5%), Irish and Irish-American (9%), Latin American (8%), German and German-American (7%), Japanese (6%), and Russian (6%) being the most reported ethnicities in the Terran nation, encompassing groups originating from East Asia, India, Europe, and the Americas. The second largest national origin reported is Orionese, defined as those inhabiting former parts of the Empire of Orion, which comprises 18% of the human population. The Orionese are predominantly composed of Han (16%), Manchu (12.5%), Irish and Irish-American (11%), Hui (9.5%), and Arab (7%) ethnicities. The Sagittarian nationality is third, accounting for 13% of the human population, comprising those from areas of the former Empire of Sagittarius and the Sagittarian Free State. Both Sagittarian governments did not record ethnic data for large parts of their history, and ethnographic information has been gathered from a concerted effort by the Census Bureau to determine the ethnic makeup of the Sagittarian nationality; as such, ethnographic data on Sagittarians is fragmentary and has been extrapolated from known settlement patterns. The estimated predominant ethnic groups among Sagittarians are European-Americans (14%), Hindustani (13%), Irish and Irish-Americans (8%), Han (8%), and Latin Americans (7%).
Sentient alien species account for 460 trillion inhabitants of the Republic, with around a third having the status of free alien and the rest being unfree or servile aliens. These aliens comprise over 10 million unique species, with 1.1 million of these having independently developed agricultural living. However, nearly all of these individuals are a member of one of 5,000 industrially modern spacefaring species; almost three-quarters of them fall into only seven species and 95% of them fall into the top dozen most populous species. Tied as the most populous alien races are the graal and the shrike species, each comprising 69 trillion individuals or around 15% of the alien population. In both cases, these species are primarily unfree due to their leading role in resisting humanity in the Great War. The taurans are the third species in number, with 50.6 trillion or 11% of the alien population, and are also largely unfree. The cassiopeians are the fourth largest species, each with roughly 41.4 trillion individuals, or 9% of the alien populace; roughly half of all cassiopeians are of free status. The acciptrids are another species of similar size, around 36.8 trillion individuals (8% of the alien populace); unlike the cassiopeians, acciptrids are almost all free aliens, as their protectorate status dates to the early Terran Empire. The fifth and sixth largest groups of aliens are the brocken and goliaths, each with 32.2 trillion members (7% of the alien population).
The next largest groups are the freyans (6%), viridians (5%), dralasites (4%), affacta (3%), condarians (2%), and inion (2%). Some of these species are almost entirely free, due to longstanding arrangements with human authorities, while others are more varied. Species that constitute 1% or less of the total alien population include the iculians, xan, axl, baeyag, kappa, xhellan, thrin, and myconids. Many of these species have dramatically reduced populations from those recorded prior to the Great War.
The rondoan species is not included in this category, due its unique biology and social organisation; if each individual rondoan were considered an individual member of the species, it would be the largest species in the galaxy at over 1 quadrillion estimated individuals at any one time. However, individual rondoans are not sentient, nor are they truly unique individuals; sentience appears to emerge when rondoans form into aggregated clonal colonies, composed of several million individual rondoan organisms, which are able to act independently from other colonies. In spite of rondoan achievement of aquaculture, industry, and spacefaring colonisation, these aggregates are now considered by scientists to function similarly to ant colonies or jellyfish swarms, and are not considered to be an intelligent single organism any more than an ant colony is considered a single organism. The rondoan species is quarantined to its homeworld, Rondo.
The human race boasts over 11,500 distinct languages, with over 7,100 of those being indigenous to Earth. Few alien species have similar diversity in language, with an average of 1,000 indigenous languages being extant in each sentient spacefaring race. In most species, an "official language" predominates and is the language used to interface with that race in interspecies communication.
The official working language of the CGU government is State English, a Terran language virtually identical to 21st century International English, derived from spoken and written forms of American, Canadian, Australian, and British English dialects. This is distinguished from the common forms of spoken English that vary from planet to planet where English is a local language. However, users of common English are generally able to speak, read, and write State English fluently; users of other human languages are taught and strongly encouraged to use State English as at least a second language, due to its prolific use in government, interstellar trade, and business at all levels of Galactic society. English, in common and official forms, is the most commonly-used language in the Republic; 42% of the human population uses only English at home, and over 98% of the human population is fluent in English.
The second-most widely spoken language is Mandarin Chinese, especially its Orionese dialect, which are mutually intelligible; Orionese, however, has a large proportion of English language loanwords. Taken together, Mandarin Chinese and its dialects are used by 66% of the human population; 18% uses only Mandarin at home.
The next largest languages by only-at-home usage are Hindi-Urdu (12%), Arabic (9%), Spanish (7.5%), and French (6.5%). Some of these are described by some linguists as language sub-families, due to great variety and differences in dialects. Second- and third-language fluency in these languages is widespread and even, but less so than in regards to Mandarin and English. Census data indicates that 54% of the human population is fluent in one or more of each. Around 14% of the human population is fluent in more than five languages.
The Latin language is not the first language for any major population group; however, it is widely taught as a second or third language in schools and at home, and has been for several centuries. Most reports indicate a secondary fluency with Latin at around 60% of the human population.
Synthetic citizens generally report a familiarity and secondary fluency with nearly all human languages. Some are given stronger instruction as linguists, and around 6% of synthetic citizens report complete fluency in all human languages. State English is instructed upon all synthetic citizens as a matter of state policy and as a matter of practicality, and 100% of synthetic citizens report a first-language fluency and usage of English.
Fluency in computer languages in synthetic citizens depends nominally upon how a synthetic citizen's code is constructed, but almost all (99%) report a working familiarity with all computing languages. The predominant computer language used in the construction of synthetic intelligences is Adaptive Apollo, a self-modifying suite of code ultimately descended from the 21st century programming language Python. Incidentally, most computer programming languages are based in part upon English.
The Central Galactic Constitution guarantees the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion to its citizens. The adoption or establishment of a state religion is prohibited, and the state recognises only religious organisations rather than creeds or identity groups, outside of Census purposes. Some preceding human governments had established religions, such as the Orthodox Church in Perseus, or several such as the Catholic Church in parallel with the State Dao Temple in the Empire of Orion. Others were strict secular states, such as the Empire of Sagittarius. The Terran Empire had a complex relationship with religious organisations, as the Imperial family and much of the nobility adhered to Christianity and religion was deemed important by large segments of the Terran public, but the Imperial Constitution forbade the establishment of a state church. Many religions organisations were readily granted non-profit charitable organisation status, sometimes much more quickly than non-religious charitable non-profits. The criticism of this has led to a stricter application of secularism under the new Republic, and several religious organisations have had their nonprofit status revoked. Nevertheless, the Republic maintains tolerant relations with international religious organisations, and with sovereign states based around a religious community, such as the Vatican City State.
The non-practice of religion constitutes the largest segment, at 25.6% of the human population, and includes such identifiers as atheism, agnosticism, deism, and secular humanism. Persons identifying as belonging to one or more religious communities constitute over 73% of the human population. However, less than 20% of the human population describe themselves as "very religious" or reported religion playing a "very important" role in their individual lives. Around 28% reported religion as playing little role or being unimportant.
Religious groups fall into a few broad categories or families, based on their points of origin. The largest is the Abrahamic family of religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The second largest are the Indo-European religions, a family including both the Indian-Asian "Dharmic" religious traditions such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, and a diverse field of revived Western European indigenous religions. The Chinese religions, primarily Taoism and Confucianism, are third in size and overlap somewhat with Buddhism due to the Buddhist acceptance of practising multiple religions, usually an indigenous religion in parallel with Buddhist practices. Shinto stands out as separate from these other groups, but is larger than any of the individual religions in the "Other" category; it is the indigenous polytheistic and animistic religion of Japan, sometimes practised in conjunction with Buddhism, and has spread with Japanese settler communities. A large "other" category includes a wide variety of indigenous religions, new religious movements, and smaller religions such as Bahai'i, Sikhism, and Unitarian Universalism.
The largest religious community is Christianity, comprising 18% of the human population, or 41.76 trillion people. This diverse community falls into several identifiable sects or religious organisations, usually referred to as "churches"; the largest of which is the United Catholic Church, constituting 26.45 trillion people or 11.4% of the human population, and is itself a federation of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches. The Anglican Communion constitutes the second largest group, accounting for 5% of the human population. All other Christian groups, including Lutheran, Reformed, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Mormon, and Evangelical churches, are collectively 2.6% of the human population.
The second-largest primary religious identity is Buddhist, accounting 11.2% of the human population. The existing data is somewhat incomplete, as many Taoists, Confucians, Shinto, and others practise Buddhism as a secondary religious practice or identity. It is estimated that with that consideration, Buddhists may account for 19% of the human population and would make it the single most widely practised religion.
Synthetic citizens are almost all irreligious, with a minority (3%) practising a variety of religions, some of which are new religious movements that have emerged in the synthetic community.
Alien religious organisations are strictly controlled and monitored, and aliens generally do not possess the same protections as citizens in regards to freedom of conscience, thought, and religion. Free aliens have limited protections of this; roughly 21% of free aliens subscribe to human religions, 34% practise indigenous religions, and half are irreligious. Servile aliens have no protections for freedom of religion, and most have had their indigenous religions suppressed and religious organisations banned as politically subversive organisations or as dangerous cults.
Religious Affiliation among Humans in the CGU (3296)
% of Human Population
Government and politics
The Republic is a constitutional, representative democratic federation operating under National Humanist principles of human supremacy, integralist corporatism, and democratic authoritarianism. The Central Galactic Government is regulated under the Central Galactic Constitution, a codified charter that serves as the Union's supreme legal document, and by subsequent acts of the Central Galactic Congress. Its central, federal government is divided broadly into three branches: the executive, composed of the Supreme Chancellor and the Executive Council, with the power to execute laws and conduct diplomacy and military action; the legislative, composed of the Central Galactic Congress, which makes the laws, has the power of the purse, and the power of impeachment; and the judicial, composed of the three Supreme Courts and the Tribunate, the latter of which is a part of the Congress, each with different jurisdictions over the interpretation and application of the law. There is much overlap, however, between the branches in order to prevent the friction and gridlock that characterised most parliamentary democracies in the pre-Union era. The Union government was designed to balance the need for checks-and-balances with the need to effectively govern the entire Milky Way galaxy. The executive in particular is vested with considerable legislative and judicial power independent of the branches, and the Tribunate which is laid out as a Constitutional Court is a committee of the Congress.
Within the federal system, citizens and residents alike are subject to multiple levels of government. At the apex is the federal Central Galactic Government. Within the Union are various federal subjects, including member worlds, colony worlds, unorganised territories, and occupied territories. These each are governed differently, sometimes by local or devolved governments, sometimes by direct administration. Member worlds and colonies typically are subdivided into prefectures, provinces, and counties which each have their own governing structures for administration. Certain municipalities and metropolitan areas have even further devolved governing powers.
Formally, the Republic is a federation composed of around 101,566,000 member worlds. Each member world is an autonomous subject of the federation, with a locally-elected government and legislature, their own constitution, and their own currency. They do not possess their own sovereign military or militia or conduct their own foreign policy, but are not directly governed by the central government.
Around 408,444,000 worlds are Federal colonies. Each colony world is formally administered directly by the Central Galactic Government. However, the central government devolves governance in the colonies to local unitary authorities. The composition of these local governments is laid out in the Administrative Act of 3275 and the Organic Government Act of 3282. A colony world is governed by an elected legislature and around a third of them also include a directly-elected governor. However, unlike member worlds, they do not possess their own currencies or constitutions and their form of government is mandated by Acts of Congress, supplemented by any colonial charters that established them in preceding centuries. A further 450 million worlds are unorganized Federal Territories, administered directly by the Central Galactic Government in a non-colonial capacity. These worlds are usually very lightly or sparsely populated, but nevertheless hold some value.
Around 600 million worlds are administered as Occupied Territories, under military governments as part of the conquest of alien nations that occurred during the Great War. These worlds are almost categorically planets that were colonies of intelligent, spacefaring alien races in the pre-war era. Another hundred million worlds are considered Protectorates, and have their own autonomous government in parallel with Union civil-military authorities.
Elections in the Central Galactic Union occur at various levels. All electoral action takes place on the 5th of January, outlined in the Constitution as the official Election Day. The Election Act of 3275 provided for the indirect election of Senators of the Central Galactic Congress by regional committees or councils, to take place every six years. The Administrative Act grouped constituent worlds into distinct Sectors, which function as electoral districts in the General Election. At the federal level, these Senators are chosen between January 5th and February 1st, when the Congress meets in session. The Congress also elects the Supreme Chancellor every twelve years.
On the planetary level, member worlds and colony worlds possess directly-elected legislatures. Member worlds, having their own constitutions, determine the form of legislature and the method of election. Colonial world assemblies, however, have their size capped at 400 members and are elected by single-member constituencies determined by an independent boundary commission. Worlds administered as military governments or as occupied territories do not have any consultative or legislative assembly.
Beneath the planetary level are a variety of administrative divisions, some of which may be constituted with an elected legislative assembly. Many combine the executive and legislative responsibilities of government, especially in lower-level administrative divisions. Counties, municipalities, incorporated cities and towns, and metropolitan areas typically have locally-elected legislative assemblies and chief executives.
In all direct elections, all adult citizens possess the right to vote through universal suffrage, as guaranteed by the Central Galactic Constitution. However, some persons abrogate their citizenship and waive their right to suffrage, such as those convicted of a felony in a court of law.
The Central Galactic Union has an established structure of foreign relations. In the process of creating the Union, the human-ruled interstellar empires were abolished and the alien-ruled territories were subsumed as occupied zones or as protectorates. These entities form a part of the Union. A few states exist external to the Republic, and have formal diplomatic recognition by the Union. The majority of these are city-states on the planet Earth, whose citizens hold dual citizenship in the Republic. A few are autonomous worlds in free association with the Union, whose citizens also hold dual Republic citizenship. Together, the CGU and these recognized states form a military and economic alliance called the Galactic Alliance. Being the only interstellar member, the CGU is the dominant partner in this venture.
The Union is currently engaged in a state of war with the Zaaroft Imperium, an alien interstellar empire existing in the Magellanic Clouds. The CGU recognizes the Zaaroft nation's sovereignty over its people, but contests this sovereignty over certain areas of space. A military conflict between the two nations is ongoing.
Other proclaimed and unrecognized nations exist within the territorial fabric of the CGU. These are mostly insurrectionist remnants of the alien empires defeated in the Great War. A few are planetary independence groups, colonial rebels, and communist revolutionary governments. These unrecognized states are engaged in a low-intensity conflict throughout the Republic.
Taxes are levied at the municipal, provincial, planetary, and federal levels. These include taxes on income, payroll, net wealth, property, consumption, imports, estates, and gifts, as well as various fees collected by state authorities. In 3298, taxes collected by governments at all levels accounted for 45% of the galactic GNP. Tax revenue by the central government in FY3298 totaled around 17 quintillion GEC. Taxation is generally progressive, with the lowest income earners and property holders paying little to no taxes, and increasingly higher taxes for increasing levels of wealth and income. Income and wealth taxes are the largest source of general revenue. Import duties on the goods carried by merchant spacecraft pays for the network of space transport and communications infrastructure that enables interstellar trade. Payroll taxes on employers funds a considerable portion of the social welfare system.
The Central Galactic Government operated on a budget of 21 quintillion GEC in FY3298, with a public deficit of 10% of GDP that fiscal year. Almost a third of the budget goes towards the social welfare system, including healthcare, living and housing subsidies, and a guaranteed basic income to all citizens. Another 40% goes towards military and national security spending. The remaining budget is used to fund the other departments, as well as maintain the vast communications, transportation, and utilities infrastructure on the planetary and interstellar level.
The CGU has operated on a budget deficit every year since its foundation. Its current public debt is 27.8 quintillion GEC, or 74% of GDP. The large public debt is in part an after-effect of the Great War, which saw the interstellar nations engage in massive deficit spending, with the Terran Empire's spending as high as 200% of GDP, and the subsequent assumption of these debts by the succeeding Central Galactic Union.
Military and national security
The Supreme Chancellor bears the title Supreme Commander of the Armed Services, granting the chancellery power to direct military and security forces within the bounds of the law in the pursuit of national defense. The Chancellor appoints the leaders of the military and national security branches.
The Central Galactic Union's national security, internal security, and military concerns are directly administered by two primary government ministries: the Ministry of War and the Ministry of State Security. The Ministry of War administers the Armed Forces of the CGU, and the Ministry of State Security administers the Security Forces, Protection Forces, Security Service, Central State Police, Interstellar Police, and the National Prison Service. This comprise the majority of the Armed and Uniformed Services, which are uniformed branches authorized to bear arms in national defense and in operations of national and domestic security.
The operating budget of the Ministry of War is estimated at 7 quintillion GEC, and the Ministry of State Security operates on a budget of 3.4 quintillion GEC.
The Central Galactic Union has the largest, most expansive, and most complex economy of any nation in galactic or human history. The galactic economy is a mixed corporatist, social-market economy with a blend of state and private enterprise in all areas of business, fueled by abundant natural resources and high productivity. In the years prior to the founding of the CGU, the integration of the ISTO allied nations into a self-sufficient economic union and trade zone paved the way for the transformation of the galactic economy into a single, self-sufficient closed system without reliance on international trade. The economy rather runs on interstellar industry and trade between autonomous worlds within the unified nation, and an expansive galaxy-wide finance industry that encompasses private financial institutions and a multitude of central banks.
Each member world of the Union has the right to mint and produce its own currency. However, most worlds fall within a few currency unions, with the largest being the Terran Monetary Association and its associated central bank, the Imperial Bank of Earth, which issues the Terran pound. Other monetary unions include the Orion Bank Zone (issues the Yuan), the Unified Bank of Actaeon (issues the Sagittarian dollar), and the Far Side Bank (issues the Norman franc). These central banks form part of the National Banking System. These currencies float in relation to one another through a commodity-backed reserve unit of account and exchange, the GEC or Galactic Exchange Credit (sometimes called the Galactic Credit of Exchange, or simply the Credit). Managed and issued by the Central Galactic Bank, the GEC is the standard unit of exchange for business throughout the galaxy and for government finance, though it is not a currency per se in and of itself. In technical terms, 1 GEC is pegged to the local cost of sufficient nutrition and adequate shelter for one average adult human for one 24-hour period. In all practicality, the Credit is pegged to an exchange rate of 1 GEC to 100 Terran pounds on Earth, and all other currencies float in relation to the strong Terran pound. While each currency union acts as a monetary authority, they are all subject to the federal monetary authority of the CG Bank.
The CGU economy has a GDP, GNP, and GGP of around 37.8 quintillion GEC, or 378 quintillion Terran pounds. In relation to pre-colonial Earth economic power, this would be the equivalent of 246.1 sextillion US Dollars as of the year 2000 (the gross world product in 2000 was around 41 trillion USD). Compounded annual GDP growth from 3275 to 3299 has been around 6%, seeing accelerated economic growth as a result of the integration of the former national economies of the predecessor states.
As of fiscal year 3298, the private sector was estimated to compose 66% of the galactic economy, total public sector 23%, and public-private partnerships and enterprises 11%. While a considerable portion of economic activity is post-industrial and service sector, the backbone of the galactic economy is in industry, agriculture, and trade and the CGU is on the whole considered an industrial power. The majority of workers are employed in heavy industry, shipping, agriculture, and service sector. Around 60% of workers are unionized, as members of the National Labor Front, the sole legal and government-supported trade union under the syndicalist labor model enacted by Galactic legislation. The majority of non-unionized workers are members of trade or craft guilds. A majority of the public sector of the economy is composed of government-managed agricultural, utility, and public works activity.
Planetary economies can be self-sustaining, but growth and enrichment relies on interstellar trade. The development of trade networks over the past seven centuries has led to certain planets specializing on certain export products, including cash crops, mineral resources, and finished goods, and a resulting galaxy-wide market for goods and services enabled by these trade networks. Large interstellar megacorporations arose to facilitate private-sector vertical integration in this trade economy, and today many such organizations compete in a state-regulated environment to provide goods and services for the entire citizen population.
The most widely-produced goods are agricultural crops, though the majority of these are not traded on an interstellar level, and agriculture accounts for only 13% of GDP; it is widespread in that nearly every habitable world engages in agriculture, while typically consumed and traded on the planetary level. The largest industry by GDP is heavy industry and construction, particularly the construction or manufacture of spacecraft, aircraft, armaments, automotive, urban construction, and public works, as well as mining, steel and alloy production, and fuel extraction; the total of this accounts for 46% of GDP. Other segments include public administration, finance and banking, retail, tourism, luxury goods, light industry, sexual services, real estate, entertainment, and the arts.