Terran Culture

Terran culture was profoundly changed by the initial contact with the Vilani and the subsequent Interstellar Wars. At the beginning of the Wars the dominant Terran culture was the liberal western culture that had developed in Western Europe and the United States of America. This culture emphasised the needs of the individual and encouraged innovation (and thus was almost diametrically opposed to the Vilani). Unlike virtually all other interstellar cultures of the period, the Terran culture actively embraced change and progress as a goal in and of itself; this was to prove to be one of the Terrans greatest assets, enabling them to catapult from TL 9 to TL 12 in just 200 years.

However under the pressure of the Interstellar Wars, the Terran culture was to undergo some major changes. As the Wars progressed, the pressures of the struggle inevitably lead to the Terran culture gradually becoming more austere, conservative and militaristic, increasingly drawing on its eastern heritage with its strong emphasis on duty and community; but it was never to totally lose its liberal and individualistic character. However along with these changes, the Terrans came to emphasis their cultural traditions that set them apart from the Vilani. Thus even though the Interstellar Wars forced the peoples of the Earth to finally see themselves as single people, they also saw a great emphasis on local cultural traditions. An example of this is that although English evolved to become the “universal” language of the Terrans (known as Anglic), the period also witnessed a great revival of many older ethnic tongues (including many supposedly dead languages such as Mayan, Cornish, Chinook, Motu etc). The other great change that occurred was the eventual death of many of the old prejudices that had plagued the Terrans for so long. When the Terrans came to see themselves as one people the many of the old social scourges such as racism and sexism dropped by the wayside.

This tolerant and liberal culture was to prove to be a great asset for the Terrans throughout the Interstellar Wars. For over 2000 years the Vilani had ruled over their subject races by a policy of assimilation and force. The Vilani were utterly ruthless in the conduct of warfare, relying on simple theories of cost efficiency. Any resistance or rebellion would be met with overwhelming force and no mercy would be shown (the Vilani did not take prisoners except in exceptional circumstances and had no hesitations in using genocide or weapons of mass destruction). Thus the Terrans with their highly structured concepts of humane warfare and their policy of tolerance for other races were welcomed as liberators by virtually all the Vilani’s subject races. As the Terrans advanced they found many willing allies throughout the Ziru Sirka, many of whom would later be granted autonomy under the Rule of Man. Although this was not to be a major factor until the 8th and subsequent Wars, even in the early wars there were a few subject race units serving within the Terran military (the first such unit, the Vegan Legion, was formed in 2136 AD during the 2nd Interstellar War).

The period also saw a renaissance in Terran religion. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries the imminent demise of organised religion had been predicted by many Terran commentators. However these experts had not reckoned on the discovery of the Ziru Sirka; an event that forever changed the face of religion on Earth. The realisation that mankind was not alone in the universe strangely reinvigorated religious belief amongst the Terrans. By the end of the Wars the six great Terran religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and New Age Mysticism) each had tens of billions of adherents including many non-Terrans and over 80% of the Confederation’s citizens were practising members of some organised religion.

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Copyright Andrew Moffatt-Vallance © 1999-2001, Last updated 16th February 2001

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