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Generic Federation, Named Empire

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In many works of fiction there are two main polities, oftentimes one will simply be called "The Federation" or "The Alliance" or something, while the other will be known as something like "The Klingon Empire". Usually it will be the protagonists who are known by a generic name while the antagonists are identified by the majority ethnic group in their empire, or even by the ruler's name.

This may have roots in the post-World War II backlash against nationalistic movements and the establishment of supranational organizations like the United Nations.

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On occasion you might see a scrappy little polity with a proper name fending off a generically-named empire that erases the cultures of its' conquests, but it's more common to see an antagonist polity that treats one particular ethnic group or family as superior to others.

See also: Generican Empire, One-Federation Limit, The Federation, The Empire, The Alliance, Good Republic, Evil Empire, Equal-Opportunity Evil.

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Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam, the Earth Federation faces off against the Principality of Zeon, named for Zeon Zum Deikun, the founder of Newtype theory and the philosopher that humans were meant to live in space. Despite this, Zeon only became The Empire after Deikun's death, with his chief of staff Degwin Zabi using Deikun's name as a source of authority after purging Deikun's supporters in a wave of terror.

Comic Books

  • Albedo: Erma Felna EDF has the multispecies Confederation of Planets vs. the Independent Lapine (rabbits) Republic. The ConFed are no saints, but the ILR has a history of imperialism and genocide.

Fan Fic

  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: A splinter group of the Dark Is Evil Dark Kingdom has many opposing kingdoms, but the only empire that opposes them, is the Shining Concord Empire.
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Literature

  • Lensman: The defenders of Civilization fight the oppressive forces of Boskone.
  • M.C.A. Hogarth's Pelted universe has two interstellar polities, the Alliance and the Chatcaavan Empire.
  • The Eldraeverse inverts the Good Republic, Evil Empire trope with the ultra-libertarian Empire of the Star, part of the Associated Worlds, and the communist Voniensa Republic.

Live Action TV

  • Star Trek: The United Federation of Planets against the Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, and Cardassian Union.
    • The Romulans enslaved the Remans almost as soon at they arrived in the system, and other species in their empire aren't treated much better.
    • The Cardassians occupied Bajor and treated the natives horribly for forty years. They also took control of several former Federation colonies after a treaty, resulting in the Maquis.
    • While the Klingon Empire is shown to conquer multiple alien species throughout the show, their government and military appears to be entirely made up of Klingons.
    • The Mirror Universe version of the Federation is the Terran Empire.
    • The "protagonist" bit is subverted by the Dominion, which was designed from the start as a "dark counterpart" to the Federation, represented visually by multiple species like the Federation but ruled by the Founders.
  • In Andromeda the Vedran Empire reformed to become the Systems Commonwealth when the Vedrans found themselves outnumbered by their "conquests". After the Commonwealth's fall most of the interstellar successor states tend to be organized along species lines like the Than Hegemony and the assorted Nietzschean prides.

Tabletop Games

  • The main time period for Traveller has the Third Imperium (which, despite the name, is a bit closer to The Federation) surrounded by the K'kree Empire, Hiver Federation, Zhodani Counsulate, Solomani Confederation, among others. Though, those are the Imperial names for them.

Video Games

  • Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak has the Northern Coalition and Kiith Gaalsien. The Coalition being an alliance of several northern kiithid while the Gaalsien are one kiith of religious fanatics.
  • Mega Man Zero: La Résistance in the games is simply called "The Resistance", opposing the Neo Arcadian Empire that oppresses Reploids for their own utopia.
  • The main benevolent faction in Metroid is the Galactic Federation, while Metroid Prime: Hunters has the Kriken character Trace come from the Kriken Empire.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: The main conflict of the game is between the democratically (usually) controlled Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire, which is dominated by the Lord of the Sith.
  • Sonic Forces: Sonic's allies form a group called The Resistance to fight Dr. Eggman, who plans to rebuild the world into his own Eggman Empire.
  • Stellaris: In game terms an "empire" is any space-faring polity with a fixed capital, while a "federation" is formed by the alliance of multiple empires. Empires nearly always have their founding species or their homeworld in their name, while federations randomly generate non-specific names like "Harmonious Concord" or "Grand League".
  • Star Control has the Alliance of Free Stars trying to fight off the aggression of the Ur-Quan Hierarchy. In the third game, the new Alliance is opposing the Hegemonic Crux.
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