The United Civilized States (UCS) is one of the factions in the Earth series. The UCS originated from the old United States of America, and holds most of the American continent under its control.
As the 21st century began, who could have predicted that things would turn out as they did? With millenium parties in full swing, people around the globe celebrated wildly. As the world's most prosperous country , the United States had the most to cheer about - and the most to look forward to. Globalization had won the day, and there was little doubt who the big winner would be.
But after the empty champagne bottles had all been cleared away and the hangovers subsided, the first rumblings started. First came the crash on Wall Street. Stocks plummeted to levels which made the 1930s look good. As irrational exurbance gave way to incurable pessimism, one international corporation after another simply dissolved, factories closed their doors, and pictures of millions of unemployed citizens wandering around desolate city centers in the vain hope of finding something to eat came to symbolize the plight of the 21st century.
The crisis brought some dramatic social and political changes in the US. To focus attention away from the miserable economic situation, those in power pushed for a "guns instead of butter" policy. Defense outlays were dramatically increased and a siege mentality created among the population. For 30 long years, Americans were made to believe the entire world had become an enemy, and that foreign armies were just waiting for the right moment to attack. Under these tense circumstances there was little to prevent a relatively minor incident with Greater Russia in the 2040s from escalalting into a large-scale conflict. In the ensuing war of 2048 all European and Asian powers were completely destroyed. Since the US had invested early in a top-rate missile defense system, it suffered less damage than the others. But the war left its mark. Not one single nation managed to emerge unscathed. The only result of the bitter conflict - global anarchy.
Slowly and painfully, the North American continent began reconstruction. Twelve states in the former USA formed a federation called the United Civilized States, with a provisional government. But people had long ago lost faith in politicians, who were seen as self-interested and greedy. A new movement led by Richard Bowman stepped into this power vacuum. Bowman's theory was radical if not particularly original - power corrupts and since those who seek it are usually motivated by the lowest personal interests, the best government is the one that doesn't exist. To his critics, who pointed out that somebody must govern, he repeatedly claimed to have a plan already worked out.
And that he did. His "solution" was a government run by an absolute minimum number of bureaucrats, chosen by a lottery system. To keep them from becoming entrenched, they could only remain in office for a few months.
Despite some opposition from conservatives, this strange form of government was installed and given the name "Stochocracy". At first it was difficult getting newly chosen politicians trained in their new positions. But after a few years government ran smoothly. Occasionally a new lottery "winner" was reluctant to take up a position, but these were rare cases. Most citizens saw it as their patriotic duty to carry out the tasks of government - at least for a short time. Fortunately the greenhorn politicians could rely on highly specialized computer systems to assist them in day-to-day matters of state. In fact, they began depending so much on these so-called "advisors" that, after a while, it became clear that the systems were fully capable running the government without their human overseers.
In 2074, the physicist Mark Springer became head of state. During his short one-year reign he was able to secure financing for a large scientific research program. Back then there were quite a few research institutes, Stanford Laboratory being the best known. Springer also led expeditions into some of the regions destroyed by the war. One of these was known as Area 51, formerly a secret military base. While digging nearby, Springer's crew unearthed a mysterious wreck, which turned out to be the remains of an alien space ship. Scientists began thorough investigations into the strange find to see to what use it could be put to.
The steady stream of scientific breakthroughs, inventions and discoveries had a great influence on the daily lives of UCS citizens. Soon CPU-controls were everywhere. Automated factories needed little attention. Robots did all the household chores. There was little work to be done, and everyone lived quite comfortably. Computer systems assumed de facto control over running the country, since the human rulers by now hardly ever felt confident enough to reject their "advice", which now covered every decision imaginable.
This situation changed in 2134 whern Jonathan Swamp became Defense Minister. A highly skilled programmer, Swamp was for many years in charge of the main government computer systems. This experience made his the only person in the country capable of using their total potential. As Defense Minister he was granted unlimited access to the military administration processor, known as GOLAN.
While in office, he made some radical changes to the system, allowing him to run computer simulations of military battles all over the planet. But by changing GOLAN's delicately balanced program structure, Swamp created unforeseen glitches throughout the system. As a result, over the next few years incorrect data led GOLAN to make some fatal miscalculations. The worst of these was the order issued to send a large army to the former British Isles. The ED rulers of the territory naturally saw this as a declaration of war.
The resulting war lasted ten years and was fought on all continents. The intelligence of the GOLAN system went up against the courage and experience of the ED leader. Employing some new tactics, the ED at first had the upper hand, until GOLAN calculated the right counter-measures. The battlefield was in a state of constant flux. For a while the ED army occupied part of Northern America, until the UCS deployed units equipped with the most modern arsenal. By 2148 the ED was in full retreat before the UCS onslaught from the south. While crossing the North Pole towards Siberia the ED shot off nuclear weapons to stop the advancing UCS units. This turned out to be the turning point - but not as intended by the ED commanders who ordered the launch. The power of the explosions literally knocked the Earth out of its orbit.
In January of 2150 the UCS scientists proved beyond any doubt that in only a few years a major cosmic catastrophe was inevitable. GOLAN was clearly unable to deal with this new information and completely shut down. A new government was quickly chosen to deal with the situation. The solution they came up with was most human in its simplicity - build a space station and evacuate the population. To work out all the details they rolled out their new cyber-leader: GOLAN II. This state-of-the-art CPU quickly started issuing orders for new factories to produce the necessary parts. Through computer simulations, it became clear that such a process would require massive amounts of ore and other raw material. So GOLAN II issued another order , this time directly to the UCS Defense Minister - "Must immediately call out army ... secure all identified sources of raw material"
Before the Earth exploded, most of the UCS members did manage to board an enormous evacuation ship – their destination was the Red Planet - but The Phoenix never made it... no-one knows what has become of that giant vessel, with all the UCS technology and hundreds of thousands of human beings on board. Some say the ship was destroyed by a meteor - but that theory couldn't be proved. The monster ship was lost without a trace. One opinion was (and it was the most likely) that the ship had been driven into deep space thanks to computer error.
However, The Phoenix wasn't destroyed. In 2160, the ship was discovered by the rogue LC commander Ariah and the rogue ED Major Michael Falkner. The AI commanding the ship had decided not to complete its journey to Mars. Instead, it was waiting until the war between the ED and the LC was over. Ariah and Falkner were able to convince the AI to take go to a diffirent destination; Eden. By activating an Alien space portal, the ship was teleported to Eden, but they weren't the first ones to arrive. An LC outpost was built on the planet. After reaching the base, Ariah discovered that the base was empty; with the exeption of a man calling himself "her majesty". She also discovers that this base were the ones who first awoke the Aliens.
After destroying all Aliens in the area, the UCS started colonizing Eden. However, the war wasn't over. In an effort to destroy the Aliens, the UCS allied with the ED and LC forces on Eden (how these got there in the first place is currently unknown), only to be betrayed by the ED forces under Colonel Greg Rifkin. In the end, the Aliens are destroyed and the ED forces have surrendered, but a currently unknown object comes through the Alien gate; a new challenge for humanity and the UCS.