A BRIEF HISTORY
Captain Valarie Nhivitney and the crew of the Golan discovered Brobdingnag in 2198 adtc. The enormous life forms of the planet so impressed the Captain that she named the planet after the land of the giants in Jonathan Swift’s mythical Gulliver’s Travels. Brobdingnag numbered third among the extraterrestrial worlds found suitable for Human life, though its star system was the 72nd visited by Earth’s starships since the first one left the Solar system.
Humans founded the first colony on Brobdingnag in 2214, just three years before making contact with the Ardotians, the first advanced alien life encountered by Humanity. That event, which ultimately led to a greatly expanded program of colonization and discovery, caused all exploration to grind to a halt.
Until then, the Human race had coped confidently with the physical and biological hazards of space, travel, but the specter of a technologically advanced, possibly hostile species, frightened people everywhere. For the first time, Earth’s nation states subordinated their armies under one command and girded themselves for what might have been the last war. Fortunately, both sides showed restraint and attempted to communicate before hurling laser bolts at each other. The deciphering of each other’s language took 20 years of intensive research and might have taken longer if Earth’s scientists had not had the experience of learning to “talk” to-the whales and dolphins in Earth’s oceans a century before. After the dialogue between Humans and Ardotians opened, another 20 years passed before both sides learned enough about each other to develop mutually acceptable programs for continued expansion into space.
This 40-year delay created the 70-year gap between the founding of Brobdingnag and the establishment of any more colonies. The gap separates what are called the “developed” colonies from the younger “embryonic” colonies. If catastrophe destroyed the Earth tomorrow, the developed colonies could continue to grow and maintain space age technologies without the assistance of Earth. The embryonic colonies might not survive being cut off from the rest of Humanity, or they might begin to regress toward a stone-age culture, unable to maintain in isolation the complex system of sophisticated equipment that supports modern life.
The Brobdingnag colony made history by being the first to actually follow the plan for its development. The first pioneers carefully analyzed the experiences of Wyzdom and Poseidous, taking note of how previous colonies’ plans had gone astray. As a result, Brobdingnag’s early history was less turbulent than that of the earlier worlds, although meager resources and limited immigration during the early years made survival far less certain than it is for new colonies today.
The first pioneers came primarily from what were then America, Australia, and Canada. They settled on a broad, low-lying plain on the continent of Horus near the Orion sea. Because the area’s climate and landscape resembled the American state of Texas, they named their development after that state’s largest city, Houston. The pioneers planned New Houston from the start, and it has grown along the lines of that plan to this day.
Because early colonists had little desire for, or trust in government, they strictly limited its power and authority. The original Constitution, which they wrote before setting foot on the planet, remains in effect today. It allows individuals to develop the colony in any manner they wish, consistent with the overall plan. The result has been orderly, yet rapid growth which assures the planet’s continued prosperity.
The Constitution outlines the framework for a planetary government to guarantee basic Human rights, and to deal with GAILE and with other planet governments. To these ends it is empowered to establish criminal courts, a planet-wide police force, and diplomatic missions. The Constitution specifically forbids the government from other activities ranging from urban planning to operate a monetary system. These powers are left to local governments.
Local governments consist of city, regional, and continental governments. These serve primarily as planning and land claims agencies, but some operate service businesses, such as waste disposal, fresh water supply and local transportation. Local governments generally do not maintain their own police forces or courts, but rely instead on those of the planetary government. The jurisdictions of local governments do not overlap. Anyone living within a city or region pays no taxes to the continental government, and it has no direct control over him. New governments can be formed whenever two-thirds of the people in a geographic area vote to approve one.