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Last Updated February 28, 2005

Cardassian Union

Background

The world of Cardassia (also commonly referred to as Cardassia Prime) is the homeworld of the Cardassian people. In the distant past, the early Cardassians were a peaceful and spiritual people that built a glorious civilization renowned for its beautiful architectural and aesthetic design works. Though these ruins and relics were considered some of the most magnificent in the galaxy they would later be raped and cannibalized by the modern Cardassian government in order to finance government and military projects.

Cardassia is resource poor and the Cardassian people faced disaster after disaster over the past several centuries. Plagues and natural calamities taxed the Cardassian's spirits and left millions dead. With dwindling natural resources available on their homeworld they were forced to expand in order to provide for their people.

It was during this period in Cardassian history that the military staged a dramatic coup, seizing the reigns of government from civilian authorities. The semblance of civilian control was maintained, but in truth it was the military and its commanders that decided Cardassian policies. New weapons, technologies, and worlds were acquired by the Cardassian Union through a series of bloody conquests. The Cardassians had gone from a single resource-starved world to the surveyors of a small empire.

During one of the Cardassian's more recent expansion efforts they came into direct conflict with the United Federation of Planets. Battles over territorial claims go back to as early as 2350. The protracted border conflict was finally settled in 2366 by a treaty negotiated by Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan.

The treaty was violated by the Federation the following year (2367) when a rogue Federation Nebula-class starship, the U.S.S. Phoenix, crossed the Cardassian border and began attacking Cardassian vessels and destroyed a research outpost. Another treaty was signed later that year, instituting a wary armistice between the Federation and Cardassian governments.

By 2369, the Cardassian Union had begun to fall into a state of decay. Due to budget shortfalls and general unrest, the Cardassians were forced to evacuate many of the worlds on their borders, most of which had been secured through violent means over the past century. Bajor was among the worlds freed during this recession of the Cardassian borders. The relationship between the newly freed Bajorans their old oppressors was mended in 2371 when Cardassian representatives arrived in the Bajor system to sign a historic peace treaty.

2372 saw the fall of the Cardassian Union government into civil unrest. The Detapa Council, a purely civilian segment of the previous government, was retained and a new framework built around it so as to secure the civilian's control of the government, lest it fall back into the hands of the military. These actions prompted the Klingons -- fearing Dominion involvement -- to declare war on the Cardassians and invade dozens of Cardassian colony worlds along their mutual border. The resultant destruction and near assassination of the new Cardassian ruling body left the Cardassian Union in economic ruins and politically unstable.

The Federation, wishing to maintain ties with the new civilian Cardassian government, sent the Cardassian relief supplies including twelve industrial replicators. The replicators, however, were captured by Maquis forces.

The Cardassian Union was again overthrown in 2373 when military commander Gul Dukat secretly negotiated an alliance with the Dominion. The Detapa Council that he had helped to protect and advise during the previous year was dissolved, leaving him the supreme commander of the Cardassian people.

By 2375, the Dominion War was nearing its end and public sentiment on Cardassia Prime and its colonies was becoming more and more anti-Dominion. Many terrorist organizations sprang up, their goal to wear away at the impressive Dominion presence in their territory in an attempt to get them to leave Cardassian space. During the closing days of the war, an all out revolt on Cardassia Prime prompted the Dominion to begin leveling entire cities. This attempt to quell the rebellion backfired, and the remaining Cardassian military personnel -- both on planet and in space -- immediately revolted against their former Dominion allies. The contribution of the surviving Cardassian naval force during those last few hours was a great help to the beleaguered Allies who had already taken heavy losses to Jem'Hadar warships and the Cardassian planetary defense grid.

In the end Cardassia was in ruins. Over 800 million men, women, and children had been slaughtered by the Dominion and their economic infrastructure was destroyed.

Following the war, the Cardassians began the long process of rebuilding their world and their colonies. However, it will be a very long time before the Cardassians will ever be a major power again in the galaxy.




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