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Last Updated February 28, 2005

Klingon Empire

Background

The Klingon Empire has existed for over fifteen-hundred years since its founding by Kahless the Unforgettable, the legendary Klingon leader who unified the people of Qo'Nos. During much of its history, the Klingon Empire was under the singular rule of an Emperor, but this changed over time. By the 2060's, the Klingon High Council -- originally a council of advisors to the Emperor -- had taken control of the government. After the High Council's rise to power the position of Emperor was dissolved and an elected Chancellor took its place as the authoritative leader of the Klingon people. Another Emperor would not sit on the Klingon throne until 2369 when a clone of Kahless was allowed to assume the position in a ceremonial role.

The Klingons had already carved out a sizeable empire by the time they made contact with the Humans in 2151. Following the establishment of the United Federation of Planets several years later, the Klingon Empire would come to view the Federation and Humans as a threat to their national security.

Several disastrous encounters in the early 23rd Century lead to escalating tensions between the Klingon Empire and Federation, bringing them into direct conflict on several occasions. By 2267, negotiations between the Klingons and Federation had begun to breakdown and both sides were preparing for war. The Organians forced peace upon both parties temporarily, but even they became flustered trying to get the two younger races to adhere to the principles of the treaty and eventually gave up on the whole affair.

During this period, the Klingons entered into a brief military alliance with the Romulan Star Empire. In exchange for cloaking technology and other resources, the Klingons gave the Romulans antiquated warship hulls, advanced warp technologies, and disruptor weaponry.

In 2293, the Klingon moon of Praxis suffered a catastrophic explosion due to over mining and dangerous operational conditions. The explosion resulted in ecological damage to Qo'Nos and threw the Klingon Empire into chaos. The overextended Klingon Empire found itself no longer able to support the economic burden of its large star fleet following the ecological damage done to their homeworld. Klingon Chancellor Gorkon extended a hand of friendship to the Federation with the promise of ending 70 years of hostilities between their two nations. Gorkon was later assassinated by enemies of peace on both sides of the conflict, but the historic Khitomer Peace Accords that he initiated would lay the foundation for a lasting peace between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets.

The Klingon Empire again fell into chaos in 2367 when Chancellor K'mpec was assassinated by means of poison, a method found highly dishonorable in Klingon tradition. The resultant power struggle between the forces of the newly selected Chancellor, Gowron, and the forces of family Duras plunged the Empire into civil war. Support for Duras' heir, Toral, crumbled after the Federation blockaded the Klingon/Romulan border, keeping Romulan aid from reaching Duras supply depots. Gowron's forces subsequently defeated their opposition and he was installed as the new Chancellor.

The Dominion War succeeded in destabilizing the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, and the Klingon Empire was one of the first to be played for fools by the Founders. Klingon paranoia following the collapse of the Cardassian military government in 2372 prompted the Klingon Empire to invade the Cardassian Union. The Federation condemned these actions. In response, the Klingons revoked the Khitomer Accords and expelled all Federation citizens from the Klingon Empire. Klingon/Federation relations decayed even further with open conflict and planetary assaults occurring along their mutual border.

In truth the Klingon Empire had been compromised, a changeling having replaced Klingon General Martok. This imposter's mission was to advise the High Council to proceed with actions that would further destabilize the Alpha Quadrant. The deception was eventually uncovered by Federation operatives and the changeling neutralized. Following these events the Klingons reinstated the Khitomer Accords and joined the fight against the Dominion alongside the Federation, and later the Romulans.

Klingon Chancellor Gowron was killed in honorable combat by Federation Starfleet officer Worf following politically-motivated actions taken by Gowron that squandered the lives of Klingon warriors. Though it was Worf's right to take Gowron's place and lead the Empire, he stepped aside and allowed General Martok (the true general was found in the Gamma Quadrant, imprisoned by the Dominion) to ascend to the chancellorship.




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