Compiled by theselfescaping
from the official leader interviews and the game Civilopedia.
The Great Mistake was a man-made disaster that occurred in central Asia, resulting in nuclear fallout, damage to northern India, and a severe rise of global sea levels. The Indian subcontinent experienced extensive coastal flooding, crop failure, and pandemics, resulting in the greatest human migration on the subcontinent since the partition of India in 1947. Low-lying Pacific islands were inundated with flooding, threatening coastal communities and choking rivers with saltwater. Pacific wildlife and commercial aquaculture was severely disrupted.
Ethnic strife and separatism in China was accentuated, resulting in a breakdown of social order, and crises on the Korean peninsula, as well as the South China Sea War. Russia’s permafrost and tundra was extensively melted, and the Russian oil supply approached depletion, resulting in deaths from hypothermia throughout Eurasia. The mass migrations from Asia arrived in Europe, politically dividing the European Union between Eastern countries that prioritized the refugee crisis, and Western countries which focused on addressing the rising sea levels. The Amazon basin flooded with seawater, threatening Rio de Janeiro and Salvador.
Crops in the United States deteriorated, and social unrest spread throughout the country. With severe political dysfunction, the federal and state governments were unable to coordinate relief efforts. Dust storms ravaged Tennessee, and the rising sea levels claimed coastal lands along the Gulf Coast. Refugees fleeing North Africa and coastal African countries shattered fragile economies, destabilizing national governments. Military coups, civil wars, and border skirmishes occurred throughout the African continent.
The Great Mistake also affected Earth’s geo-poltiical landscape. Brazil was reorganized into Brasilia, preserving its manufacturing industry and armed forces. Brasilia created a blue-water navy, and its power projection capabilities enabled Brasilian peacekeepers to remove central Asian warlords from power, as well as secure the UN refugee camps in central Asia. The extended Amazon basin was charted and regulated as a shipping waterway, resulting in international partnership agreements.
Raj Thakur’s religious syncretism in Delhi, emphasizing sustainable living and personal charity, became Thakurism, a non-sectarian movement. It ended the worst of the Indian subcontinent’s religious and ethnic violence, resulting in the creation of the Kavithan Protectorate, led by his daughter Kavitha Thakur. A cultural flourishing of art, music, and cinema spread throughout the subcontinent, and reconstruction efforts were protected by Brasilian peacekeepers.
Threatened by the rising sea levels, Australia, Indonesia, and other countries with coastal cities joined together to establish the Commonwealth of Polystralia. Leading the innovation of horticulture and aquaculture, the Commonwealth became a global food provider through treaties and trade agreements, and its national shipping fleet carried the supermajority of the world’s cargo.
As the Commonwealth initiated humanitarian relief efforts in devastated regions, Polystralian diplomats and politicians served as moderators and overseers in most international disputes. The Commonwealth Assembly served as the legislative body between its member states, with national judiciaries and militaries unified under the Commonwealth.
Diplomatic efforts ended insurgencies in China and central Asia, allowing China to create a common Asian currency and economic super-bloc, the Pan-Asian Cooperative. Reclamation programs like the “War Against the Gobi” reduced the desertification of arable land, and “New City Seoul” became the standard for high-efficiency urban living with a high quality of life, while the “Great Heavenly Leap” demonstrated that a space program could be mass-produced. The PAC specialized in high-tech design and manufacturing, centered in its gargantuan coastal cities.
A series of emergency authorizations gave the Russian Federation the authority to use all resources necessary to preserve the country. Diplomatic rapprochement with Eastern European countries, together with the peaceful integration of Asian ethnic groups and refugees, resulted in the creation of the Slavic Federation. The member states of the Slavic Federation had degrees of autonomy, and ethnic minorities formed local governments.
Warmer temperatures allowed geological surveying teams to find new deposits of oil and strategic minerals, and Baltic coastal cities gained year-round port capabilities. The restoration of the Black Sea, the Volgo Dam Network project, and trans-Siberian pipelines exemplified the Slavic Federation’s global engineering standards. It was the most active country in space, launching the Mir 2 space station, the Zvezdagrad orbital factory, and establishing the Nova Luna installation, the first extra-terrestrial human colony. The Federation also explored the Kuiper Belt.
In legislative deadlock, the European Parliament was unable to control the actions of its member states, leading to the dissolution of the European Union. With ruling coalitions that shared a common vision of social reform, Spain and France formed the Franco-Iberian Union, which was later joined by Italy, Algeria, and Tunisia. The Franco-Iberian model of urban planning and ecological engineering to restore the biosphere is the oldest and most successful contemporary urban engineering project, resulting in the Andalusian Solar Field Energy Project and the restoration of Rome.
The Franco-Iberian Union funded initiatives for artists and authors to explore new art forms, but also strongly encouraged the continuation of the Renaissance and Enlightenment traditions. The Directorate-General for Education and Culture aggressively promoted and exported European cultural works.
With the United States government’s relief efforts faltering, the American Reclamation Corporation, an ecological risk mitigation and engineering firm, took over the Trans-Mississippi Recovery Initiative. Extensive reconstruction efforts commenced throughout the Gulf Coast and the Midwest. The ARC consolidated most American entertainment brands, and became actively involved in the automobile industry, shipbuilding, and pharmaceutical drug production. Together with its engineering and construction programs, ARC employed 23% of the United States’ population, and was the most powerful corporation in the world.
Seeking political stability throughout the African continent, the African Union invoked its charter’s supranational powers, creating the People’s African Union. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, and other African countries became Union member states. National militaries were consolidated into the Union’s armed forces, which was deployed to end civil unrest and political disruption. It also removed several dictators from power, and their countries subsequently joined the Union.
The People’s African Union instituted a unified currency by ending the tariffs and taxes of various member states, establishing the African Common Market. The Union also created extensive wildlife parks, wind farms, and reclamation projects in the Congo, as well as in the African coastal regions. The African Common Market invested heavily in humanitarian projects, particularly for health care and human rights. Some of the member states continued to confront nepotism, corruption, and occasional tribal or religious conflicts.
The Commission Report on the Inflection Point presented empirical evidence that the human race reached the Inflection Point, a threshold where humanity would soon no longer possess the means to sustain high standards of living, or a program of viable extrasolar colonization. Subsequently, some political and economic leaders sponsored the Seeding, a series of ventures to colonize other planets. Each sponsor launched multiple missions, in order to have the greatest chance of settling distant worlds and ensuring humanity’s survival.
As the most active country in space, the Slavic Federation viewed its terrestrial engineering and space program as tools to improve the lives of its citizens. After the Inflection Point was determined, the Federation realized its potential role in ensuring the continuity of humanity. A philosophy of technological dominance and self-determination motivated the Federation’s colonization efforts. On January 1, 2210, General Vadim Kozlov, the first Slavic citizen to set foot on Mars, dedicated the Federation to its first Seeding venture.
Brasilia passed legislation emulating the 1944 GI Bill, educating Brasilian soldiers who returned to civilian life. Subsequently, Brasilia’s aerospace industry entered a golden age, and its Seeding program was announced on June 10, 2210. The expedition was composed of Brasilia’s most elite peacekeepers, under the command of Supreme Commander Rejinaldo Bolivar, who trained them to manufacture materials and survive in extreme environments. Brasilia became the first country to have its Seeding ship, Aguia, leave the Solar System.
Raj Thakur’s teachings often used the imagery of flight and cosmic travel, and his daughter Kavitha Thakur codified these as explicit support for the Seeding, claiming that her father saw the Inflection Point prophetically. “The Prophet’s Dream” was the common euphemism for the Kavithan Protectorate’s space program, with songs and movies supporting the morality of education to support the Protectorate’s space program.
Although she claimed no titles for herself, Kavitha Thakur was the leader of Thakurism, and she became the elected leader for the Protectorate, in an election she did not campaign for. Thakur focused her early efforts in office on humanitarian campaigns, to assist citizens and repair the environment of the Indian subcontinent. The Protectorate’s methods for choosing Seeding candidates were broadly democratic.
With unpleasant memories of the penal colonies created in many of its member states, the Commonwealth of Polynesia focused on the well-being and safety of its Seeding colonists. With a cultural tradition of traveling immense distances to settle new lands, tens of thousands of Commonwealth citizens volunteered to relocate off-world, and their colonial efforts aimed to live in accord with the new environments.
The Commission Report on the Inflection Point was questioned by the Commonwealth’s then-Interior Minister Hutama, but his position was reversed after suffering political defeats. When leaders for the Commonwealth’s Seeding missions were nominated, Hutama was voted first place, even after he devoted an Internet broadcast to arguing why he would be a bad expedition leader.
Given its material advantages, and the pressure from a large population with limited land, the Pan-Asian Cooperative’s Manned Space Engineering Office built a space station to serve as a prototype for the first colony ship orbital space-docks. One decade later, after mapping by the Yinghou satellite network, a Chinese crew made the first manned landing on Mars.
The Secretary-Architect of the Pan-Asian Cooperative’s Seeding program was Daoming Sochua, who, by the age of thirty, held four PhDs in electrical engineering, nano-electronics, nuclear physics, and bubble fusion. Pioneering methods for extracting energy from resources thought exhausted, as well as for deep-sea and off-world resources, Daoming volunteered to head one of the missions to colonize other planets for the PAC.
The unification with North Africa gave the Franco-Iberian Union a culturally dynamic population and access to mineral resources, allowing it to compete in the race for off-world colonies. The Union’s new colonial administration vetted colonial governors, and admonished them to conduct themselves in the best traditions of civilization and morality.
The Premier of the Franco-Iberian Union was Elodie, an aristocrat whose family’s prestige was based on an immense fortune. Using her influence to become a candidate to command the Union’s first Seeding mission, Elodie convinced the owners of mass media to support her, resulting in popular support for her candidacy. She chose reliable civil servants for the expedition, and personally oversaw the construction of the Canon, a multi-cultural compilation of Western literary works, artwork, music, and philosophical treatises from throughout the historical record.
On August 23, 2216, the American Reclamation Corporation announced its first Seeding venture, becoming the first privately-owned organization to fund its own Seeding venture, although it acted as contractor or financier on other Seeding projects. The United States Congress declined to allow ARC to represent the United States government in space colonization.
Suzanne Fielding was both CEO and CFO of the Corporation, making her the most powerful person in the most powerful corporation in the world. She used ARC’s financial capabilities to engineer economic shifts on Wall Street, in order to unseat banks and exchanges. Fielding subsequently announced that she would personally lead ARC’s first Seeding expedition.
Merchants and traders led the People’s African Union’s Seeding program, with most of the missions populated by prominent regional businessmen and respected civil servants. The governance of the dozens of Union colonies took different forms, but all of them were rooted deeply in African history and culture.
The Prime Minister of the People’s African Union was Samatar Barre, who peacefully negotiated with both African tribal leaders and foreign diplomats, signing several international agreements to support the Union’s colonization effort. Barre’s tolerance of diverse traditions strongly influenced the Union’s colony on the new planet.