To understand the history of Zeon, we must first discuss the origins of the Earth Federation Government.
By the 2040s (our current calendar), overpopulation on Earth had reached a dire crisis point. The world population had reached 9 billion, taxing the planet's ecosystem and natural resources to the breaking point. The planet simply could not support that many people.
A movement began to have large numbers of the population (several billion people) immigrate to orbiting space colonies based on the O'Neil cylinder design first conceived back during the 1960s. Each grouping of colonies (generally, 30-80 colonies per grouping) built at LaGrange points orbiting the Earth was known as a "Side." Additionally, two cities, Anman and Von Braun, were built onto the surface of the moon. The colonies were generally self-sufficient, running on a combination of solar and self-generated nuclear power, although (at first) they depended on Earth for water and mineral supplies (in later decades, the colonies were less dependent on Earth for these resources because they were able to mine ores from the moon, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt as well as import water from ice asteroids orbiting Jupiter and Saturn). There were agricultural colonies that grew crops and livestock, so the colonies' dependence on Earth diminished as the years went by.
The year 2045 was the final year of the calendar that we use in the real world today. The following year, the nations of the world formed the Earth Federation Government, a democratic republic modeled on the governments of such 20th Century democracies as the U.S., the United Kingdom (but no monarch), Canada, Japan, etc. With the Earth Federation Government established as the sovereign government of the people of Earth and the space colonies, the Universal Century era began in the year U.C. 0001 (i.e. A.D. 2046).
The first few decades of space colonization were peaceful and generally prosperous. The construction and maintenance of the space colonies meant many jobs for people who immigrated to space, as well as a whole new economy based around living permanently in space. All this was governed by a benign Earth Federation Government which was, at first, adequately efficient and effective.
By the U.C. 0030s, however, it was growing increasingly evident that the Earth Federation was becoming a bloated bureaucracy that became increasingly indifferent to and incapable of governing the needs of the Spacenoids (i.e. the people who immigrated to live in the space colonies). The heads of the Earth Federation Government were all people who had never lived in outer space and therefore, did not understand or care much about the needs of the people who lived in the space colonies. Feelings of resentment began to brew among the Spacenoids towards the "elites" of Earth who seemed indifferent to and insensitive to their needs, while the people on Earth (Earthnoids) began to see their space-dwelling brothers and sisters as nuisances always demanding more from them.
In the early U.C. 0040s, a brilliant and charismatic young Earth Federation senator named Zeon Daikun began to preach the ideology of "Contolism." The Contolist philosophy was that humankind had leeched off of the Earth enough, and had taken a heavy toll on Earth's ecosystem and natural resources. Zeon Daikun believed it was humankind's destiny to live entirely in space, leaving the Earth to plants and other animals so that it could gradually heal the damage that humankind had done to it through centuries of industrial exploitation and warfare. Zeon Daikun, however, that this should be accomplished by choice, not force. He believed that as people began to live longer periods in space, their psychic awareness would expand and they would become more enlightened. Zeon Daikun dubbed such people "Newtypes," and predicted that Newtypes represented the next major phase of human evolution.
Zeon Daikun was a native of Side 3, the cluster of space colonies (then) farthest from the Earth built in the orbit of the dark side of the moon. At Side 3 more than any other space colony, there was strong pro-Spacenoid sentiment and resentment of the Earth Federation. Zeon Daikun represented Side 3 as an Earth Federation senator during the U.C. 0040s, but by the 0050s, he proposed a radical step: independence from the Earth Federation altogether. This was a controversial step both on Earth and in the space colonies. On the one hand, the Earth Federation wanted to keep its sovereignty over all of the space colonies, but on the other hand, managing all the colonies was becoming an increasingly difficult task (especially since the colonies were expanding; by the time of the One Year War in U.C. 0079, seven Sides colonies were in orbit and several more would be constructed during the U.C. 0080s and 0090s). Finally, in the late U.C. 0050s, the Earth Federation agreed to recognize the Zeon Republic as the first independent space nation.
The Zeon Republic was founded on a wave of good feelings and hope for the future. Prime Minister Zeon Daikun was an enlightened and benign leader, and the people of Zeon prospered during the first decade of their nation's history. In U.C. 0058, however, Zeon Daikun suddenly fell ill and died, and he was replaced by his own most trusted follower, Deputy Prime Minister Degin Zabi. In fact, Degin Zabi, a much more aggressive Contolist who hated the Earth Federation with a passion, had grown increasingly dissatisfied with Zeon Daikun's pacifistic stance towards the Earth Federation. In Zabi's view, the Earth Federation was ruled by *worms* and *degenerates* that needed to be exterminated if humankind was to embrace its future. Hence, Degin Zabi assassinated Zeon Daikun, dressed up the cause of Daikun's death as "illness," and abolished the Zeon Republic...reorganizing it as the Archduchy of Zeon, with himself as its first Archduke.
The Zabi Royal Family
The Zabi Royal Family of the Archduchy of Zeon were cruel absolutist rulers in the tradition of the Russian czars or the D'Medicis of medieval Italy. They were:
Archduke Degin Zabi (age 70 at time of One Year War): the founder of the Archduchy of Zeon. Previously, a senator in the Earth Federation Government and Deputy Prime Minister of the Zeon Republic under Zeon Daikun. Began the militarization of the Archduchy of Zeon in preparation for a war of extermination against the people of Earth and its Federation government.
Prince Giren Zabi (age 40 at time of One Year War): Degin's eldest son, and the most ambitious. Prince Giren was even more extreme than his father (whom he eventually murdered and tried to replace), and it was he who convinced his father to expand the goal of Zeon beyond merely destroying the Earth Federation Government to exterminating the Earthnoids (and their supporters in the space colonies) to the last man, woman, and child. Giren Zabi was openly an admirer of Adolph Hitler, and his only criticism of Hitler was that the German Fuhrer had not gone far enough. Giren was as intelligent a man as he was callous and cruel, with an IQ of 200 (a trait that his niece, Minerva, would inherit).
Princess Kishiria Zabi (age 37 at time of One Year War): Degin's only daughter. Ambitious, but fanatically loyal to her father. Princess Kishiria always had a secret agenda against her elder brother Giren, and she assassinated him after he had assassinated their father during the final hours of the One Year War.
Prince Dozle Zabi (age 35 at time of One Year War): Prince Dozle was a frightening large, hulking monster of a man...standing over seven feet tall and bulging with great muscles. He was loud and aggressive, and in combat, he knew no restraint. Surprisingly, however, Dozle was widely considered the favorite Zabi among the Zeon people. Although he was a fierce warrior, he was a surprisingly generous leader who treated his men very well, and they all deeply respected and admired him. Among the Zabis, Dozle was probably the fiercest Zeon patriot, as well as the most loyal to his father and his siblings. He was also surprisingly a model family man who doted upon his beautiful young wife, Zenna, and their infant daughter, Minerva, who was born during the final months of the One Year War.
Prince Garma Zabi (age 20 at the time of the One Year War): Prince Garma was Archduke Degin's youngest child, and his favorite. Handsome, charismatic, and deeply loyal to Zeon, Garma was also a favorite of the Zeon people. An ambitious young man, Garma wanted nothing more than to serve his country and impress his father and elder siblings. He also became a good friend to Col. Char Aznable (the Red Comet), a "friendship" that would doom Garma in the end.
Princess Minerva Zabi (born during the ninth month of the One Year War): Princess Minerva never did get to know her father, her grandfather, her aunt, or her uncles. She was born during the final months of the One Year War, during which all of her other family members would perish in battle. As the last surviving member of the Zabi Royal Family, however, she was the heir to the Zabi throne. An exceptionally intelligent child (blessed with the same high IQ that her uncle Giren and aunt Kirshiria had), Princess Minerva was indoctrinated in Zeon ideology from an early age by her regent, Haman Karn. When she was eight years old, Princess Minerva served as figurehead leader of the Axis Neo Zeon during their U.C. 0087-0089 campaign to conquer the Earth Federation and the AEUG. After the defeat of the Axis Neo Zeon regime, Princess Minerva went missing. In the continuity of my fanfic, she rescued Char Aznable, who had watched her grow up at Axis Fortress in the Asteroid Belt and had regarded her almost as a daughter. Despite Char's burning hatred for the other Zabis, he always loved Minerva as if she were his child. Char was outraged by how Haman had manipulated and used Minerva, and after Haman's death, Char took it upon himself to care for and train Minerva to be, like he was, a survivor and a leader. Eventually, the teenaged Minerva Zabi fashioned a new identity for herself....Earth Federation Forces Special Forces officer Captain Athena Ibaz, and her adventures begin in my fanfic, MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: THE SECOND CENTURY Part 1.
The One Year War
From the establishment of the Archduchy of Zeon in U.C. 0069 to the outbreak of hostilities with the Earth Federation in U.C. 0079, the Zabi regime militarized Side 3. Using the vast resources available to them from the moon, the other space colonies, and industrial settlements on Mars and in the Asteroid Belt, the Archduchy produced thousands of space warships (armed with beam weapons based on Minovsky particle technology), space fighter planes, conventional ground weaponry (for Earth invasion), and a new weapon...the mobile suit. Based off the technology for the Hydrosuits that were so essential to the construction of the space colonies, the MS would become symbolic of Zeon's reign of terror. Mobile suit research technology started even when Zeon Daikun was still living, and after his death, was speeded up by Archduke Degin. The first combat mobile suit, MS-05 Zaku I, was completed in U.C. 0075. Four years later, with a large army of MS-05 Zaku I and MS-06F Zaku II mobile suits, the Archduchy of Zeon Forces launched the opening salvos of the One Year War.
And that was the beginning of the anime series/movies: MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM.
Post-One Year War
A combination of factors led to the defeat of the Archduchy of Zeon during the One Year War. First, the Archduchy had overextended itself...scoring many early and decisive victories against the Earth Federation during the first few months of the war, but exhausting itself in the process. Moreover, the Zeon were too slow to respond to the Earth Federation's Project Victory program, which had yielded the mobile suits RX-75 Guntank, RX-77 Guncannon, and RX-78 Gundam. The Zeon lost several key battles on Earth and in space to the Federation's warship the White Base, largely due to the heroic actions of Federation MS ace pilot 2Lt. Amuro Ray and his powerful RX-78 Gundam mobile suit. Beyond this, there was too much internal rivalry within the Zeon leadership, with several members of the Zabi Family plotting against each other, as well as ambitious generals working at cross-purposes, and the machinations of Char Aznable, whom only Princess Kishiria Zabi knew to be Cassoval Rem Daikun, the son of the late Zeon Daikun. For reasons known only to herself, Princess Kishiria never exposed Char's identity to the other Zabis. This decision would be her downfall.
The Archduchy of Zeon surrendered to the Earth Federation Forces on January 1, U.C. 0080, and the Earth Federation re-established a nominal "Zeon Republic" at Side 3 (unlike Zeon Daikun's original government of the same name, however, this new "Zeon Republic" was nothing more than a puppet government controlled by the Earth Federation and would later be enforced by the Federation's elite Titans Corps). Zeon loyalists, however, fled the Earth Sphere for the safety of the Asteroid Belt under the leadership of Grand Admiral Makajara Karn, who had in his custody Lady Zenna and the infant Princess Minerva Zabi. The surviving Zeon forces under Grand Admiral Makajara established a new base at the asteroid Axis in the Asteroid Belt. From there, the Zeon developed new technologies and gradually rebuilt their military power during the next seven years.
In U.C. 0087, Grand Admiral Makajara Karn died. The revival of Zeon and care of Princess Minerva Zabi, was left to his twenty-year old daughter, Haman Karn. Haman, an extremely ambitious and cunning woman, had exclusive authority to care for Princess Minerva. As such, Haman, a powerful Newtype, used the princess's name and authority to further her own agenda to be the true, de facto leader of the Axis Neo Zeon.
As a teenager, Haman Karn had fallen in love with Col. Char Aznable, who had survived the One Year War and fled to the Asteroid Belt with the remaining Zeon Forces. Char and Haman had a torrid, brief relationship that came to an end when Char returned to the Earth Sphere to work a deep cover espionage operation (from which he never returned, having chosen to help found the AEUG as Captain Quattro Bagina). During this time, both Char and Haman became close to little Princess Minerva. Whereas Char's interest in Minerva was purely that of a protective and affectionate older brother or uncle, Haman's objective was to use Minerva to further her own ambitions. This comes to a head in MOBILE SUIT ZETA GUNDAM.
Late in U.C. 0087, the Axis Neo Zeon return in force to the Earth Sphere in the midst of AEUG's struggle against the Titans. The Axis Neo Zeon cleverly and cautiously play to both sides...hoping that the two factions of the Earth Federation will exhaust themselves in their own internecine strife, and then the Axis Neo Zeon can move in for the kill against the much weakened survivor. Sure enough, although AEUG defeats the Titans, it is left much weaker and vulnerable to the Axis Neo Zeon.
The story of MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM ZZ concerns the year-long struggle between the remnants of AEUG/Earth Federation against Haman Karn's Axis Neo Zeon regime. This war is almost a mirror image of the One Year War: once again, the Zeon occupy the space colonies and even conquer and occupy the Earth for several months (forcing the Federation to surrender and accept vassal status to the Zeon Empire). Zeon mobile suits and soldiers took over the buildings and streets of the Earth Federation Government for months until AEUG/Earth Federation finally fought back. Still, it was not AEUG/the Federation's strength that defeated the Axis Neo Zeon; it was (once again) internal infighting among the Zeon leaders. Zeon general/warlord Glemy Toto led an insurrection against Haman Karn, resulting in the Axis Neo Zeon splintering into two factions. The AEUG/Federation was able to take advantage of this conflict within Zeon to move in for the kill.
The Axis Neo Zeon War ended in U.C. 0089, but just four years later, Col. Char Aznable reemerged after disappearing for five years to lead another Neo Zeon insurrection. As Char did not have the support of all the remaining Zeon warlords who survived the last war against the Federation, he had only a limited army. Nevertheless, he was able to pose a grave threat to Earth for a period of several weeks in March, U.C. 0093, before being thwarted by the Federation's Lond Bell Task Force led by his old enemies/allies Col. Bright Noah and Captain Amuro Ray. This is the story of CHAR'S COUNTERATTACK.
So when you get to the world of my fanfic, the Zeon have all been banished to the outer solar system once again, with rival warlords who had served under either the Zabis during the One Year War, Haman Karn during the first Neo Zeon War, or under Char during his counterattack, fighting for power out in deep space. One of these warlords is General Alexander Miguel, the Zeon warlord of Phobos (moon of Mars).
This will be my fanfic's story: MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM - THE SECOND CENTURY.