National governments were governing factions which led the nations on Earth for thousands of years before the dawn of the United Nations. Today, a variant of them still exists, but at an elevated, interstellar scale.
Ancient times Edit
Human political organizations began in the form of primitive tribes. Over a period of several thousand years, they advanced into a variety of cultures worldwide. The first governments were theocracies, arising in river valley cultures that grew in places such as Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia. Empires and monarchies, such as Assyria, Persia, Qin and Han China, Maurya India, Carthage, and Rome formed around Eurasia from 2000 B.C.E. to 500 C.E., with many of those mentioned being supplanted by other empires, or coming to prominence through the conquest of their predecessors. One of the few governments that was not a monarchy or dictatorship was the city-state of Athens in the Greek Peninsula, which while it existed, was a direct democracy.
Post-classical era Edit
The end of Ancient Times, marked by the fall of the Roman Empire of the Mediterranean Basin in the fifth century C.E., heralded the coming of new empires such as the Islamic Caliphate, Byzantium, and Tang China. In the Americas (both North and South), the Toltec, Aztec, and Incan empires flourished. At the end of this period in the fifteenth century C.E., the kingdoms of Europe, which had been relatively barbaric and primitive through most of this era, went through a renaissance and gained the technological knowledge that would allow them to conquer most of the planet in the next five hundred years.
Modern times Edit
The dominant power in the sixteenth century C.E. was the Spanish Empire, with its conquest of most of the rich American civilizations, before being surpassed by the British Empire, which became the largest empire in Earth's history[Citation needed] pre- . After the First World War, Britain began to rapidly decline as a superpower and the United States rose to prominence. After World War II, the two remaining superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States, plunged themselves into the Cold War with the discovery of nuclear fission bombs and later, thermonuclear fusion weapons.
In the 1960s, the Nuclear Age gave way to the Space Age, with the accomplishments of the superpowers being emulated by Europe, Japan, and eventually the rest of the world. Although the nuclear superpowers signed a treaty to limit their nuclear stockpiles (an event that would eventually lead to the the end of the Cold War), third world countries, such as Pakistan and India, obtained nuclear weapons technology, which led to escalated conflicts between other smaller nations, while political and theological differences lead to the rise of terrorism as an international threat.
Global unity Edit
The colonization of the planet Mars assured that Earth's national governments would unify their efforts. The United Nations began gaining more and more prominence, until nations on Earth were de facto simply sub-governing entities subordinated to the UN. The environmental problem Earth faced due to pollution determined the national governments to cede their very governing power and sovereignty to the supranational organization, effectively rendering the UN the governing body of all humanity.
Martian independence and Second Cold War Edit
After the Martian colony gained enough resources to become largely self-sustaining, a thought of independence struck the minds of its leaders. Thus, they demanded to secede from the UN's power, which was immediately rejected. War was avoided only because of the brilliant mind of Solomon Epstein, which managed to develop the eponymous space drive, the Epstein drive. Since he was Martian, the drive had initially been the property of Mars, until the colony decided to share it with its parent government, in exchange for independence. To avoid giving Mars a tactical advantage, the UN agreed. And so, the Second Cold War was ignited between the two superpowers, which would continue to divide the Sol system and other extrasolar territories between themselves up until the Interplanetary War.