I'm putting together a setting for a series of stories (possibly a novel as well, though who knows) involving a single large city on a planet newly colonized by humans who left Earth. The idea is that this planet has only a little bit of liveable land - most of it's covered by oceans, let's say - so necessity forces the colonists together. Moreover, the colonists left Earth in ships that were largely homogeneous in terms of nationality, language, and culture and spent several decades on those ships before landing on the new planet.

Do you think these different groups would be able to effectively operate as a single political entity after landing on the new planet? Do you think they'd want to do so? I'm envisioning a sort of city-state with an elected republican form of government that includes citizens of many different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, but in a city that's still somewhat divided down cultural and linguistic lines (for example, there might be a largely Chinese district, an Arab district, etc.) I'm just not sure how realistic that vision is. I can see this kind of experiment easily falling into revolt and chaos, especially if resources are scarce or if one or several national/ethnic groups end up politically and economically dominating others.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site gravity, your question is interesting and I was sorely tempted to answer it but when you ask questions like "Do you think they would want to" it screams this is opinion based Like I said I think it is a good question but as it stands isn't a fit for the site. If you could rework it to be more objective and provide criteria that make a good answer I would rescind my close vote. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 5 '16 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ I think you also meant heterogeneous, which means different. You said homogenous, which means the people are of a si liar culture. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Feb 5 '16 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ I meant that each ship would have had its own homogeneous culture. The city itself would be heterogeneous in its culture, etc. $\endgroup$ – 0A0 Feb 5 '16 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ @James, fair enough. I'll try to think of a way to redo this question. Or maybe I'll just take it down and try to figure things out myself. $\endgroup$ – 0A0 Feb 5 '16 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ We're happy to help :) $\endgroup$ – James Feb 5 '16 at 19:32

Unless they all came together in the same ship I would say No. Or at least not at first. If it were all in the same ship together then they would already be used to working together. They would already have found compromises that kept everyone happy and not fighting one another. If they came separately they probably wouldn't form a unified city at all instead they form several smaller cities. Assuming they did coming together and we're United enough at the end of their voyage to form a city together. Then that city would probably be divided into sup parts ( Chinatown, and Arab district). There may not be a strict law enforcing this, but people that came from spacific culture would want to live around people from the same culture. So they were naturally formed districts even without stricked laws forcing them to. In between each district what be the mixed neighborhoods. It would be in these places you would see the most cultural exchange happening.

Some other things you need to conside. Is the wealth and other resources evenly distributed? Or do certain race or cultural groups have better access to resources then others? Is knowledge and skills evenly distributed? For example do certain communities produce more doctors well the other ones more engineers? Is the educational level the same for every culture or do some cultures have more educated people than others?


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