In most fiction there is only one guy named Steve
to avoid confusion. Similar to that, each state type seems to be unique in some works of fiction. There is only one federation
, one republic
Sometimes an exception is made in the case of empires
to allow more bad guys
This Trope sometimes occurs when there are only very few countries covering the entire Planet
Definitely not Truth in Television
Anime and Manga
- In Code Geass, the world is divided into three main superpowers; the Euro Universe, the Holy Empire of Britannia and the Chinese Federation. There used to be a Middle-Eastern Federation, but it was conquered by Britannia in season one.
- Averted in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Destiny. The two dominating superstates of the Earth Alliance are the Atlantic Federation and the Eurasian Federation. The Republic of East Asia is a lesser partner and the United States of South America was invaded and forced to fight against ZAFT.
- ZAFT is also an alliance, just like the rival Earth Alliance; the name is an acronym. While little attention is paid to that fact within the show itself, the twelve colony clusters are akin to nations within ZAFT. Orb and the other other independent nation of any note (a unified Scandinavia) are both kingdoms.
- Both subverted and played straight in Mobile Suit Gundam 00: the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations represents North America, while the Advanced European Union represents Europe, but the latter is always referred to by its initials (AEU).
- Behind the scenes, the Earth Sphere Federation of Season 2 was originally just the "Earth Federation". Probably to prevent confusion over the UC nation of the same name, the "Sphere" was inserted.
- Star Wars has only one centralized government in each movie trilogy (The Republic and The Empire) fighting against one group of separatists/rebels (The Confederation and The Alliance).
- The Expanded Universe has The Empire and The New Republic fighting each other and later brings in more Empires, as well as a Hegemony, a Dominion, an Assemblage, an Aristocracy, several Imperiums, a Confederacy, a Consortium, a Sovereignty, a Union, an Authority, an Ascendancy...
- Averted in Star Wars: Legacy where the evil Sith-ruled Empire is fought by The Remnant of the Galactic Alliance and another Empire, the benevolent Fel-Empire, which is itself arguably The Remnant of the Empire proper.
- Babylon 5 has the Earth Alliance, the Minbari Federation, the Centauri Republic (which is actually a monarchy like the Roman Empire), the Narn Regime (more or less a military junta dominated by veterans of the war for independence against the Centauri) and the Vorlon Empire. Some races (like the Dilgar, Shadows, and Drakh) have no stated governmental body, while the others have ones only stated offhand or in the background material (Drazi Freehold, Brakiri Syndicracy, Abbai Matriarchate, Grome Autocracy, etc), with many of the smaller governments mentioned in the show gathered into the League of Nonaligned Worlds.
- Star Trek, which gave us the Federation, uses the "more empires for bad guys" exception. The Romulans, Klingons, Kelvans ("By Any Other Name") and one planet in star system 892 ("Bread and Circuses") had empires, and that's just from Star Trek: The Original Series. The Terran Empire (instead of the United Federation of Planets) of the Mirror Universe doesn't really count because it's in an Alternate Universe.
- Between all the series and the Star Trek Novel Verse, there are a few duplicates, but also a lot of variety. Here goes: United Federation of Planets, United Planets of Tellar, United Rigel Colonies, United Earth, First Federation, Klingon Empire, Andorian Empire, Danteri Empire, Romulan Star Empire, Cardassian Union, Deltan Union, Breen Confederacy, Confederacy of Vulcan, Regnancy of the Carnelian Throne, Gorn Hegemony, Tholian Assembly, Tzenkethi Coalition, Ferengi Alliance, Nyberrite Alliance, Metron Consortium, Sheliak Corporate, Talarian Republic, People's Republic of Coridan, Republic of Bajor, Magisterial Cheka Kingdom, Plutocracy of Ardana, Ubarrak Primacy, Devore Imperium, Krenim Imperium, Karemma Foundation, Kazon Collective, Borg Collective, Vidiian Sodality, B'omar Sovereignty, Hierarchial Order of Voth, Haakonian Order, Hermat Directorate, New Thallonian Protectorate, the Dominion, the Hierarchy, the Imperial Romulan State (a breakaway of the Empire).
- The Star Trek Novel Verse has also brought us the Typhon Pact, a coalition of the "main" Romulan Empire, the Gorn, the Tholians, the Breen, the Tzenkethi, and the Kinshaya. They banded together for mutual protection, just like the Federation, making them a different kind of adversary than the UFP usually faces.
- The Romulans actually mixed it up slightly, adding a superfluous adjective to be the Romulan Star Empire.
- Actually, in The Original Series, Kirk and co. encountered "The First Federation", and it appeared in several star charts in The Next Generation and a drink that originated from it (tranya) was stocked in Quark's bar. However, it was never referenced by name again.
- Actually actually, at the time the First Federation is mentioned, the writers had not come up with the United Federation of Planets yet. Kirk calls the Enterprise a "United Earth ship", implying the name of his government.
- Actually actually actually, they worked for something called the United Earth Space Probe Agency. Writers have been doing somersaults trying to explain the discrepancy. (Current consensus seems to be that it's an Earth-based agency that sometimes sponsors missions through Starfleet, though it doesn't seem to be completely cleared up within canon.)
- Early on, the Cardassian Union is more often referred to as the Cardassian Empire, and they probably made the change because there are already enough Empires to go around. Retcon though it may be, I think it actually adds a touch of realism since such powers are often known by more than one name.
- Star Trek after TOS does tend to allow for several Empires even if some of them aren't bad guys — the Klingons spent much of TNG and DS9 as allies of the Federation, while Enterprise had the Andorian Empire — who go on to be one of the founding members of the Coalition of Planets, and later the Federation.
- The latest developments in the Stargate Verse put this trope into play in the Milky Way. We have the Tau'ri (Earth military forces under the UN Security Council, spearheaded by the United States), the Lucian Alliance, and the Free Jaffa Nation. The Goa'uld Empire would fit the list if it still existed.
- BattleTech - None of the factions besides the Clans share any naming conventions - Free Worlds League, Draconis Combine, Capellan Confederation, Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Suns, Free Rasalhague Republic, the 20 versions of Clan Adjective Whatever, Republic of the Sphere Outworlds Alliance, Rim Worlds Republic, Taurian Concordant, Magistracy of Canopus, Marian Hegemony, and dozens of minor kingdoms out in the Periphery. Interestingly, there are no "Empires" - there was one major canonical self-proclaimed emperor in the setting's history — Stefan Amaris the Usurper, whose treachery started a war that killed billions of people and led to the end of the Star League. After that wonderfulness, calling yourself "Emperor" in that setting would probably be equivalent to calling yourself "Führer" in postwar Europe.
- The only exception is the case of the Terran Hegemony and the Marian Hegemony. However the former was destroyed centuries before the latter came into existence.
- With enough expansions, Twilight Imperium can have an Empire, Barony, Federation, Emirates, Universities, Mindnet, Kingdom, Coalition, Collective, Tribes, Clan, and Brotherhood - although not all of these will be in play in single game.
- GURPS gives advice on how to use this trope in its 4th edition Space supplement, and provides a handy list of synonyms for the types of government it discusses: Anarchy (Anarchate, Free State, Frontier Zone, Libertarian Republic, Post-Polity, Unorganized Territory, Wild Space), Alliance (Axis, Bloc, Coalition, Community, Commonwealth, League, Pact, Sphere), Federation (Concordium, Confederation, Regime, Union, Unity), Corporate State (Cartel, Combine, Conglomerate, Consortium, Hansa, Keiretsu, Partnership), and Empire (Dominion, Hegemony, Imperium, Kingdom, Monarchy, Principiate, Realm, Reich).
- The original "Known World" map of D&D's Mystara setting featured one empire, one grand duchy, one republic, one syndicracy, etc. It did include a number of federations, but each one used a different designation for its member regions (principalities, emirates, freeholds, jarldoms, etc).
- Averted with Star Fleet Battles. Plenty of empires (Klingon, Romulan, Lyran), and more than one federation: both the United Federation of Planets and the Gorn Confederation (which is close enough).
- The plane of Ravnica in Magic The Gathering is themed around guilds. But in the spirit of this trope, they call themselves a Legion, a noble House, a Swarm, a Conclave, a League, a Clan, a Syndicate, a Senate, a Combine and a Cult respectively.
- The major states of the post-Fall solar system in Eclipse Phase are the Jovian Republic (often called the Junta), Lunar-Lagrange Alliance, Morningstar Constellation, Plantetary Consortium, and Titanian Commonwealth. Though Titan and several anarchist habitats of varying memes have formed the Autonomist Alliance.
- Mass Effect. The main factions are the Asari Republics, the Systems Alliance, the Turian Hierarchy, the Batarian Hegemony, the Vol Protectorate, the Salarian Union and the Illuminated Primacy. On closer examination, this is likely averted because of the turian foreign policy: There are stated to be more 'client races' besides the volus. So, more than one Protectorate.
- From what we know so far, Final Fantasy XI only has one Republic (Bastok), one Kingdom (San d'Oria), one Federation (Windurst), and one Duchy (Jeuno). There are other Empires than Aht Urhgan, but it's the only one players can get to.
- EVE Online has the Gallente Federation, Minmatar Republic, Caldari State, Amarr Empire, Khanid Kingdom, and Ammatar Mandate.
- Minor factions with designs of being nation-states include the Intaki Syndicate, the Thukker Tribe, and Sansha's Nation.
- The players themselves keep to this trope. When some players decided to roleplay as Intaki separatists, they named their alliance the Intaki Union.
- Partially averted with the Jovians. The official name of the Jovian nation, according to the map, is the Jovian Empire. However, the Jovians are isolationist, and they don't feature much in politics.
- The World Building web game NationStates averted this at the beginning, by giving you a list of about twenty possible state types to choose from. Once you reached a high enough level, though, you could make up your own. Unsurprisingly, aiming to be as unique as possible was a popular consideration.
- The X-Universe has the Argon Federation, Teladi Space Company, Kingdom/Queendom of Boron, Great Patriarchy of the Split / Split Dynasty, Godrealm of the Paranid (or Paranid Empire for short), Earth State (which includes the AGI Task Force and United Space Command), Free State of Solaranote , Xenon Network, and Kha'ak Hive. The X-Encyclopedia adds the Hatikvah Free League and Convention of the Herdnote . X Rebirth includes the Plutarch Corporation, the Republic of Cantera, and the Heart of Albion
- Galactic Civilizations: the Terran Alliance, Torian Confederacy, Korath Clan, Krynn Consulate, Iconian Refuge, Yor Collective, Drath Legion, Altarian Republic, and Korx Consortium are the only races with those titles. There are, however, three empires — Thalan, Drengin and Arcean — but even on the Galciv website only the Thalans are listed under that title, with the others simply being referred to as "the Arceans" and "the Drengin".
- Sins of a Solar Empire has the Trader Emergency Coalition, the Advent Unity, and the Vasari Empire.
- Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri has pretty unique faction names for most of them: Gaia's Stepdaughters, Human Hive, University of Planet, Morgan Industries, Spartan Federation, Lord's Believers, and Peacekeeping Forces. Only the Spartans call themselves a typical name for a nation, although background material implies that it's a military dictatorship (it's led by a woman whose official title is Colonel, after all). In game terms, each player can adopt certain policies that really define what sort of a government the faction has. However, the choice of faction limits which policies a player can choose.
- The expansion introduces 7 more factions, including 2 alien ones: Cybernetic Consciousness, Nautilus Pirates, Free Drones, Data Angels, Cult of Planet, Manifold Caretakers, and Manifold Usurpers.
- The Spiritual Successor Civilization: Beyond Earth, the 8 colonies are named after their sponsor, not all of which have a qualifier. For example, Brasilia, Franco-Iberia, and Polystralia don't have a qualifier. The other 5 colonies have appropriate (and unique) qualifiers: American Reclamation Corporation, Kavithan Protectorate, Pan-Asian Cooperative, People's African Union, and Slavic Federation.
- In Starbase Orion, every political entity named in the race and leader descriptions has a unique name:
- Humans - the Confederacy.
- Isather - the Isather Dominion.
- Draske - The Draske Hegemony.
- Cyban - the Community of Cybans.
- Vass - the Vass Collective.
- Harge - the Harge Commune (a colony leader is a Harge).
- Felinoids - the Gnactic Space Federation (a military leader is a Felinoid).
- Defied in Reds. In the post-WW2 world, the three superpowers are the Franco-British Union, the Union of American Socialist Republics, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. And that's just the three top dogs.
- The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are the United States of America, the People's Republic of China, the French Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Russian Federation.
- Despite the varying names there's actually two federations in there. And back in the day, the Russian Federation was represented by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which splits the difference between the United States and the French Republic, in name if not in politics. And of course, this only applies in English, three of the five countries of course have entirely different names due to being in Mandarin Chinese, French, and Russian.
- Partial during The American Civil War, where both nations had "States of America" appended at the end. The Confederate States of American and the United States of America were usually referred to simply as the Confederacy and the Union.