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So I'm working on a novel right now which is set in a global hyperpower known as the United Earth Republic. In the aftermath of a devastating, total-nuclear World War 3, the UER rose from the ashes of the old world in 2033. Using technology that was reverse engineered from ancient underground artifact vaults, they pushed back the three deadlocked superpowers of the war and finally ended the conflict by conquering the planet.

However, in the wake of all the destruction the war brought, the UER wasn't going to let history repeat itself again. For the first time, humanity saw an era where war was abolished. Instead of using our technology and skills against each other, the United Earth Republic unified Humanity under three guiding destinies: To push technology forwards, to solve our biggest issues together, and (most importantly) to explore, colonize, and conquer the final frontier of space.

As a result of the UER's direction for humanity, alongside a number of newly-found artifacts to do so, we managed to paraterraform Mars by the 2040s, we discovered FTL travel by 2045, and we settled 4 different exoplanets across 3 different systems by the 2060s. All under complete world peace.

My question to you is how I can make such an peaceful, expansive empire such as the UER exist. Without removing the ancient technology or the war (they are huge plot points), what would the UER have to do to be this successful as a hyperpower?

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    $\begingroup$ So you're talking about early Star Trek / Jonathan Archer era basically? $\endgroup$ – Alexander von Wernherr Dec 9 '16 at 8:55
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    $\begingroup$ You might want to rethink your timescales. Even if all the nations put aside their differences and focused on technological development (spoiler: they won't), I sincerely doubt we could settle exoplanets in 50 years. Considering an experimental fleet of microsatellites would take 20-30 years just to get to Alpha Centauri, I would think a full human colony would be far, far behind. $\endgroup$ – Kys Dec 9 '16 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ Using the FTL drives that I mentioned, the farthest of the systems is only about a month's flight time away. However, all the accessible systems are limited by 2 "jump horizons", limiting the number of habitable worlds that could be reached. Any systems closer than 15 light years would take too long to reach, and any systems beyond 40 light years are inaccessible because the ships's instruments aren't sensitive enough to know when to end the jump without missing it's target. $\endgroup$ – Mattias Dec 9 '16 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Mattias Alright, so that will cut down the travel time to less than 4 years (depending on how much FTL you go). But unless you handwave how the ancient technology happens to be compatible with modern manufacturing and materials, it's going to take centuries to understand the technology enough to replicate and industrialize it. See this question for some interesting thoughts on that. $\endgroup$ – Kys Dec 9 '16 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Kys The technology doesn't have to be compatible at all, it just has to lead to a breakthrough in principles. If by inspecting that ancient stuff we discover the scientific principles behind bending gravity/making wormholes/whatever, then we are free to use our own manufacturing and materials to create devices to use those principles. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Dec 9 '16 at 18:32
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This sounds like a global version of the rise of the European Union. The EU, originally the European Common Market, was created to prevent any future European wars. Assuming that medium sized, non-combatant nations had access the ancient technology and this technology was capable of (a) neutralizing the military activities for the three nuclear combatant superpowers, and (b) rebuilding, reconstructing and rehabilitating the post-nuclear war Earth.

After a massive nuclear war the majority of the human species would be happy to embrace global peace. While war and conflict can be lots of fun and get people to bond together, the majority of people realize this is a complete waste of time, effort, our material well-being, treasure, and human lives. Given the chance for peace as a viable alternative to war it will be grabbed with open arms.

The existence of the ancient underground vaults full of superior technology obviously suggests the existence of alien civilizations with advanced technology and the ability for interstellar travel. So pushing out into space is a logical strategy because we don't know if the aliens are going to be friendly and the human species needs to settle more planets to forestall any extinction events. All in all, for the long-term survival of the species.

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually, there are records in the vaults telling of the civilization's collapse years ago. However, even though they are long gone, there is a major plot point further on in the story (not gonna spoil it :) ) where we finally discover who these beings really were. $\endgroup$ – Mattias Dec 9 '16 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Mattias Ah! That makes things a bit more tricky, but it is your story. Good to see you've thought about how to work the story to attain other interesting possibilities. $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 9 '16 at 22:38
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    $\begingroup$ Actually, that gave me a pretty good idea. What if the artifacts caused a schism in the scientific community over what they can for-tell about our future. One group could say that research should be focused on advancing us so we can see who they are (or were, if we knew they were gone). But the other group could be focused on advancing us because they could become a threat to our species if they ever came back. $\endgroup$ – Mattias Dec 14 '16 at 5:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Mattias You're welcome! If this helps give you a few new ideas, then I'm glad to have done so. You do show that you've got a good grasp of the ideas you need for your story. Just have fun with it. $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 14 '16 at 6:03
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Using Earth's current history, you can't have UER as an established superpower, and peaceful at the same time (emphasis on peaceful). To be able to subdue the current superpowers to your will, and to your might, requires blood. Lots of blood. And blood has the tendency of improving the memory of people on many matters.

Also i don't think it will be possible to rebuild and prosper so soon after a nuclear WW3 - world wide speaking- not in your time frame (5-30 years).

If you alter the history a little, allowed current United Nations (U.N.) to be a more established organization with more authorities and greater presence, then perhaps your UER can exist as the evolution of U.N. after your WW3.

Also, the current major powers must be almost extinct, to the point of total annihilation (their surviving leaders can then be forced/coerced into signing anything from your UER), so the population can look up to U.N. for hope and guidance - thus creating your UER.

If any regiment of the old authorities/powers remain alive and active after the war, it will oppose your UER. And they have more experience in guiding the local masses to their will.

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  • $\begingroup$ For the war, I was thinking that it would be between the United States, a united EU, and a newly emerged superpower between Russia and China called the Russo-Chinese Federation (the RCF). The balance of power began to shift between the 3 superpowers; building extreme tensions between them. This ultimately snapped in 2027, when the RCF decided to launch in an attempt to cripple the US and the EU's military capability so they could launch a surprise attack on Hawaii and Eastern Europe. But, due to the total counterattack (referred to as Wave II), all three powers nearly annihilated each other. $\endgroup$ – Mattias Dec 9 '16 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Mattias perhaps shift this approach to WWII (1940) period. EU + US victorious against the nazis, face a Russian/China alliance. Delete korean war, escalate your conflict between 1950 and 1970, so existing UN has time to be established. Now you have 30-50 years (1980-2030) for UN to be transformed to UER $\endgroup$ – andrew Dec 10 '16 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ That's the tricky thing though. I want to have the time scale compressed to represent mankind's potential if we were to work together rather than against each other. Plus due to a plot point that REALLY I don't want to spoil, it must be set in the future. $\endgroup$ – Mattias Dec 10 '16 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Mattias. That's the issue, as others have mentioned it. Mankind is unable to work united at current state of mind. Unless perhaps under a tremendous threat - and a constant one that is. Then again... your book, your story :) $\endgroup$ – andrew Dec 12 '16 at 5:05
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The basic nature of humanity is not very peaceful. And if you look a bit deeper, the basic motivation for wars so far was greed.
Someone (never an entire nation, just a very small group of individuals) decided that it would be cool to have something which currently belongs to someone else, and to take that.
Add the possibility to force or persuade a substantial part of the population to give their lives for someone else's greed, and you get a war.

That said, your scenario is plausible:
The war will have killed very large parts of the world populations. But you kept your tech level.
As was pointed out, after a war is the best time to convince people that peace would be a splendid idea, so that gives you the general agreement that your UEA could and sould be founded. The UEA can hardly wage war on another country for profit, because there are no other countries. This will most likely to a better wealth distribution, greatly helped along by the fact that after the horrible losses of the war there is at least more earth per inhabitant than there was before, so the prospect of a better future by cooperation should be conceivable for most people, and be credible enough to help keeping individuals who'd rather not share the wealth down.
So, in short: people have just seen the alternative, and all of them will suffer losses, so they are interested in peace. Through the losses, there is more wealth per capita (at least in potentia), removing a motivation for war.

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  1. Maybe this war has caused massive damage to the planet and so new tech needs to be developed to get to a new home.
  2. Maybe the earths population has grown so much, expansion into space is the only option.
  3. Super powers are unable to stand against the UER and the common populace who embrace their ideals. They plan to regain sovereignty by grabbing their own planet. Due to this plan the best they can do is to go along until their chance arrives.
  4. An external threat normally works.
  5. UER has total control and experimentation with the artifacts. These artifacts give them a massive advantage.
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  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking about using #2 as both the driver and the downfall of the UER. Thanks to the suddenly booming population and the increasing ecological collapse cause by both climate change and the fallout of the war, expansion into space is key to sustaining enough resources for all of us. However, when they started to build a series of 60 km Ø O'neill cylinder stations, named the Orbitals, the sheer need for resources began to create cracks in the UER's once faction less facade, ultimately escalating into an interstellar civil war by the late 2080s once Mars finally rebelled. $\endgroup$ – Mattias Dec 9 '16 at 21:43
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Yes it can be, but to able to achieve that you need more than just WW3.

  1. The easiest way is to come up with common enemy. A non-human one it seems, that way everyone can be agree to put aside their agenda (Religion, Claimed land and natural resources, economy, idealism) and join any human survivor to survive.

  2. Eliminate all human. Hyperpower nation usually had their own idealism and rules, and even a near perfect one, had some groups that do not like it because not everyone have the same habit, mindset and believe. So to make it 'that peaceful' it wouldn't be so human. Maybe Human had ceased to exist and replaced by ai, or another beings with organizational mind hive so therewouldn;t be any war ever again.

  3. Or you can make that peaceful global dominion hyperpower nation that filled with human with no common enemy. But it just what it's seems on first glance. This can be exist when 1 group with one idealism won, they slaughter all the opposed and buried their skeleton as deep as it can be. Then write them off history book. So there wont be any question ever again, but it is unlikely will hold for long.

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