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[[Image:Klingon Empire logo.png|right|Symbol of the Klingon Empire]]
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{{sidebar government
The '''Klingon Empire''' (also sometimes referred to as the '''Imperial Klingon Empire''') is the official government of the [[Klingon]] race, founded approximately [[Early History|1,500 years ago]] (1,000 years by the Klingon calendar) by [[Kahless]] the Unforgettable, who first united the Klingon homeworld of [[Qo'noS]]. Since then the Klingon Empire expanded its sphere of influence by conquering numerous systems and incorporating them in the Empire. ('''See also:''' [[List of Klingon planets]])
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|name = Klingon Empire
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|image = Klingon Empire logo.png
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|caption = Emblem of the Klingon Empire
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|image2 =
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|caption2 =
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|founded = [[9th century]]
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|location = [[Beta Quadrant]]
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|capital = [[First City]], [[Qo'noS]]
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|head of state = [[Klingon emperor|Emperor of the Klingon Empire]]
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|head of government = [[Klingon chancellor|Chancellor of the High Council of the Klingon Empire]]
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|legislature = [[Klingon High Council|High Council of the Klingon Empire]]
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|judiciary = [[Klingon Judiciary|Judiciary of the Klingon Empire]]
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|major species = [[Klingon]]s
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|military = [[Klingon Imperial Fleet]]<br/>[[Klingon Defense Force]]
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|intelligence service = [[Klingon Intelligence|Klingon Imperial Intelligence]]
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|language = [[Klingonese]]
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|currency = [[Darsek|Klingon darsek]]
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}}
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{{aquote|I will fight any battle, anywhere&hellip; for the Empire!|[[Martok]]|2375|Tacking Into the Wind}}
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The '''Klingon Empire''' was the official state of the [[Klingon]] people. It was founded in the [[9th century]] by [[Kahless the Unforgettable]], who first united the Klingon homeworld of [[Qo'noS]]. Since then, the Klingon Empire expanded its sphere of influence by conquering numerous systems and incorporating them. This made the Empire a major power in its region of the [[Milky Way Galaxy|galaxy]], as of the [[22nd century|22nd]], [[23rd century|23rd]], and [[24th century|24th centuries]].
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{{bginfo|Though exclusively called "the Klingon Empire" or internally "the Empire", one exception was a reference to the "Klingon Imperial Empire" in {{e|Sins of the Father}}.}}
   
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
[[Image:Kling_batleth2.jpg|thumb|left|The Sword of Kahless.]]
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:''Main article: [[Klingon history]]''
Like its people, the history of the Klingon Empire is violent but colorful. Around the year [[Early History|900 CE]], Qo'noS was ruled by [[Molor]], a tyrannical ruler who was generally unpopular among the people. Kahless emerged as a champion of the people, and slew Molor in single combat using the first ''[[bat'leth]]'', the [[Sword of Kahless]]. This event continues to be celebrated in the Empire in the [[Kot'baval Festival|''Kot'baval'' Festival]]. ([[TNG]]: "[[Firstborn]]") Kahless ruled together with his wife, the Lady [[Lukara]], as Emperor of Qo'noS, despite the fact that he was not of noble birth. (Qo'noS had an established nobility even at this point in its history.)
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[[File:Kahless painting.jpg|thumb|A painting of Kahless the Unforgettable as seen on [[Boreth]] in [[2369]]]]
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The mytho-historical origin of the Klingon Empire revolves around Kahless the Unforgettable, who emerged as a champion of the people in the 9th century AD and became the first Emperor. In the [[14th century]], the Empire faced one of its biggest threats when a race from the [[Gamma Quadrant]] the Klingons called ''[[Hur'q]]'' invaded Qo'noS. They looted many valuable cultural treasures, including the revered [[Sword of Kahless]], but then left again. In the mid-[[21st century]], the reign of the last Emperor ended and authority passed to the [[Chancellor of the Klingon High Council]]. (e.g., {{TNG|Rightful Heir}}; {{DS9|Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places|The Sword of Kahless}})
   
Kahless was not just a warrior, but also a philosopher of sorts. During his rule, he established a strict warrior code that was adopted into [[Klingon tradition]] and [[Klingon culture|culture]]. His words are frequently invoked by warriors about to enter battle. Among his sayings are, ''"A leader is judged not by the length of his reign but by the decisions he makes."'' ([[DS9]]: "[[Tacking Into the Wind]]")
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Because of a [[Human]]-caused [[Augment Crisis|medical crisis]] and later territorial conflicts, [[United Earth]] and subsequently the [[United Federation of Planets]] became the Empire's main adversary in the [[22nd century|22nd]] and [[23rd century|23rd centuries]], during which cold as well as hot wars were fought. While the Empire was in disarray as of the first half of the 23rd century, the conflict with the Federation helped to unify the disparate [[Great House|Klingon Houses]] and stabilized the rule of the Chancellor. (e.g., {{ENT|Affliction|Divergence}}; {{DIS|Battle at the Binary Stars|Point of Light}}; {{TOS|Errand of Mercy}})
   
Over the next thousand years, the Klingon Empire would slowly expand, despite a devastating conquest and sack by the [[Hur'q]], a powerful race from the [[Gamma Quadrant]]. The Hur'q did not stay long, however, either because of their nomadic way of life or because of fierce resistance from the Klingons but they did not leave before taking many valuable cultural treasures, including the revered Sword of Kahless.
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After the [[Praxis]] disaster of [[2293]], Chancellor [[Gorkon]] pursued peace with the Federation, resulting in the [[Khitomer Accords]] and ultimately paving the way for the [[Treaty of Alliance]] between both powers. Klingon-Federation cooperation persisted despite interference by the [[Romulan Star Empire]] and a [[Klingon Civil War]] from [[2367]] to [[2368]]. (e.g., {{film|6}}; {{TNG|Reunion|Redemption|Redemption II}})
   
By the [[22nd century]], the Klingons were a major regional power, holding several dozen [[star system]]s and fielding a formidable military, the [[Klingon Defense Force]].
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In the [[2370s]], the [[Dominion]], a hegemonic empire from the [[Gamma Quadrant]] managed to sow discord among Alpha and Beta Quadrant powers, resulting in yet [[Federation-Klingon War (2372-73)|another brief Federation-Klingon war]]. Eventually, both powers joined forces and, after [[Dominion War|a costly war]], together defeated the Dominion in [[2375]]. (e.g., {{DS9|Apocalypse Rising|By Inferno's Light|What You Leave Behind}})
   
=== First Contact with Earth ===
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== Territory ==
In the late [[2140s]] and early [[2150s]], the Klingons were engaged in a fierce internal struggle that, while not amounting to actual civil war, threatened to become a more intense conflict. Numerous attacks had taken place throughout the empire that were blamed on various Klingon factions; it was not realized at the time that the attacks had actually been launched by the [[Suliban Cabal]], who were taking orders from a [[Future Guy|mysterious individual]] who was an operative in the [[Temporal Cold War]].
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:''See also: [[Klingon planets]], [[Federation-Klingon border]], [[Klingon-Romulan border]]''
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[[File:Alpha Beta Quadrant Overview star chart.jpg|thumb|The frontline between the Klingon Empire and the Federation in [[2256]]]]
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Qo'noS and many other Klingon systems, including [[Ty'Gokor]] which was said to lie deep within Klingon territory, were located in the [[Beta Quadrant]]. ({{film|12}}, ''display graphic''; {{DIS|Context Is for Kings}}, ''display graphic''; {{DS9|Apocalypse Rising}})
   
Although the Klingons had had occasional contact with the [[Vulcan]]s prior to [[2151]], they had not met [[Human]]s until a courier named [[Klaang]] crashed on [[Earth]] while pursued by two [[Suliban]] soldiers. After dispatching his two pursuers, Klaang was shot by a frightened local farmer named [[Moore]]. Although Vulcan ambassador [[Soval]] advised that [[Starfleet (Earth)|Starfleet]] authorities withhold medical treatment and allow Klaang to die, [[Captain]] [[Jonathan Archer]] intervened and insisted on returning Klaang to Qo'noS aboard his ship, the [[Enterprise (NX-01)|''Enterprise'' (NX-01)]].
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Klingons were a very territorial species, vigorously patrolling the borders of their Empire with severe consequences for any trespassers. The Klingon Empire shared borders with the [[Romulan Star Empire]] and the Federation, the latter of which was protected by a [[Neutral zone]] during the later [[23rd century]]. (e.g., {{ENT|Bounty}}; {{film|2}}; {{TNG|Aquiel}}).
   
[[Image:Qo'nosSurface2151.jpg|thumb|right|200px|The Klingon capital on Qo'noS in 2151.]]
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The Empire contained Klingon [[colony|colonies]] as well as [[annexation|annexed]], previously inhabited worlds. (e.g., {{ENT|Judgment}}; {{TNG|The Mind's Eye}}) The foundation of a Klingon colony could be preceded by [[bio-survey]]ing potentially suitable [[planet]]s. ({{DS9|Dramatis Personae}}) For conquered inhabited worlds, the traditional Klingon practice called for the execution of all government officials, and the installation of an [[Imperial Overseer]], e.g., a [[governor]], to put down any further resistance. An alternative approach was the creation of a puppet regime under a native governor. ({{TOS|Errand of Mercy|A Private Little War}}; {{DS9|The Way of the Warrior}})
Archer, however, did not understand the complexity or importance of Klingon tradition, and did not realize that returning Klaang to Qo'noS was a grave dishonor and insult. However, Klaang carried with him proof that the attacks were in fact launched by the Suliban, which averted a civil war. For this service, Archer and his ship were allowed to leave peacefully. However, the incident did not leave Klingons kindly disposed towards Humans. ([[ENT]]: "[[Broken Bow]]")
 
   
In early [[2153]], the Empire again encountered the ''Enterprise'' when the Human ship rescued a [[Rha'daran]] refugee ship that was attempting to flee Klingon territory. Captain Archer chose to render assistance to the refugees, but failed to realize the ramifications of his actions, particularly the embarrassment he would cause the Klingons. When the Klingons demanded that the refugees be handed over for trial, Archer refused to comply. Captain [[Duras, son of Toral|Duras]] of the [[IKS Bortas|IKS ''Bortas'']] intercepted the ''Enterprise'' and attacked it, unsuccessfully. Archer was later captured and brought to trial on [[Narendra III]], a Klingon colony, for being an "enemy of the state." In an incendiary tribunal, Archer's "interference" with Klingon affairs earned him a life sentence to [[Rura Penthe]]. However, Archer managed to quickly escape from the prison, further embarrassing the Klingons. ([[ENT]]: "[[Judgment]]")
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== Government ==
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[[File:Great Hall, night.jpg|thumb|The [[Great Hall]] in the [[First City]] on Qo'noS, seat of the Klingon High Council]]
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Officially, the Klingon Empire was a feudal monarchy, with power residing in the [[Klingon emperor|Emperor]], who was traditionally a descendant of Kahless. However, de facto power lay with the [[Klingon High Council]]. The position of emperor was abandoned (but not officially abolished) in the mid-[[21st century]], but was revived in [[2369]] when a group of clerics created a [[Kahless (clone)|clone of Kahless]], who was accepted as the new Emperor, albeit only as a religious figurehead. ({{TNG|Rightful Heir}})
   
The Klingons launched several further attempts to recapture Archer, including hiring bounty hunters ([[ENT]]: "[[Bounty]]") and sending Duras himself to track the ''Enterprise'' and recapture Archer. However, Duras was unsuccessful in three different attacks against the ''Enterprise'', and he was finally killed when the ''Enterprise'' destroyed his ship during the third attack on the edges of the [[Delphic Expanse]]. ([[ENT]]: "[[The Expanse]]")
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The [[Klingon chancellor|Chancellor]], the de facto leader of the Empire, was head of the High Council, which consisted of twenty-four members representing various [[Great House]]s (tuqmey, essentially, the nobility). The Chancellor was protected at all times by the ''[[Yan-Isleth]]'' (Brotherhood of the Sword). ({{DS9|Apocalypse Rising}})
   
: ''As of the time of this writing, the situation with the Klingons and the ''Enterprise'' remains unresolved. We will have to wait and see if the show's fourth season provides more information about the Klingons.''
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Women were not normally permitted to hold seats on the High Council. Despite that, [[Gowron]] once offered [[Ambassador]] [[K'Ehleyr]] a seat on the Council in exchange for her support of his bid to be Chancellor. ({{TNG|Redemption|Reunion}}) Also, [[Azetbur]], the daughter of Chancellor [[Gorkon]], was permitted to succeed him as Chancellor in [[2293]]. ({{film|6}})
   
: ''Author's Note: Based on dialogue from the Star Trek movies and ''The Next Generation'', it was originally believed that First Contact between the Federation and the Klingon Empire took place around [[2218]] ([[TOS]]: "[[Day of the Dove]]"), and immediately led to the state of cold war that lasted until the events of ''Star Trek VI''. Most notable was a reference to the first contact with the Klingons in [[TNG]]: "[[First Contact (episode)|First Contact]]", which implied that the events of that "disastrous" meeting directly caused decades of near-warfare. However, all this speculation has been contradicted by events seen on ''Enterprise''.
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{{bginfo|It is possible that this was permitted because she was made the head of her house, due to the unusual circumstances of her father's death. The ''Star Trek VI'' novelization indicates that Gorkon suspected that something might happen to him on the voyage and had arranged with his allies on the High Council for them to back Azetbur as Chancellor if he were to be killed. The novel ''[[Serpents Among the Ruins]]'' establishes Azetbur's assassination by a Klingon named Ditagh, who hoped that after her death the more powerful General Kaarg would rise to power. Kaarg would indeed rise to power and it would be him that would forbid women ever on the High Council again.}}
   
=== Cold war ===
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Various factions almost constantly challenged the leadership of the Empire, and so over time the Klingons developed a strict and rigorous [[Rite of Succession]] to determine their leader. According to tradition, one was permitted to challenge the leader on the grounds of cowardice or dishonorable conduct and fight in single combat. Should the challenger slay the incumbent, he assumed the role of the new leader. ({{DS9|Tacking Into the Wind}})
By the [[23rd century]], the Empire and the new [[United Federation of Planets]], founded by an alliance between [[Earth]], [[Vulcan (planet)|Vulcan]], and [[Andoria]], were engaged in a tense cold war. The Federation was quickly expanding, and its territory began to approach that of the Empire. Disputes over ownership of various star systems arose, particularly over worlds such as [[Donatu V]], [[Sherman's Planet]], the [[Archanis Sector]], and [[Organia]]. Although numerous skirmishes were fought between the Federation [[Starfleet]] and Klingon forces during this time, both sides refrained from committing to open warfare.
 
   
However, in [[2267]] negotiations between the two sides broke down, and the Federation officially declared war against the Empire. The Klingons launched an immediate offensive, seizing several planets including the strategically important Organia. Unexpectedly, the [[Klingon-Federation War]] was brought to a sudden conclusion just days after it had begun when the [[Organians]], a race of massively powerful [[noncorporeal being]]s, intervened and forced both sides to end hostilities. The [[Treaty of Organia]] was then imposed, establishing a [[Klingon Neutral Zone|neutral zone]] separating the two powers and establishing a procedure, to be overseen by the Organians, through which planets along the border could be claimed and settled by both sides. ([[TOS]]: "[[Errand of Mercy]]", "[[The Trouble with Tribbles]]")
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Because of the Klingon propensity for violence, shrewd Klingon chancellors redirected hostilities outward, where they would otherwise cause a civil war. In the [[2150s]], the Klingon chancellor instructed [[Duras, son of Toral|Duras]] to recapture Jonathan Archer after the latter escaped imprisonment on [[Rura Penthe]]. In this way, the chancellor focused the blame for certain internal problems on an external cause. ({{ENT|The Expanse}}) Likewise, Gowron focused his soldiers' energies on invading first the [[Cardassian Union]] and later the [[Federation]] in order to avoid internal conflicts at home. ({{DS9|The Way of the Warrior|Apocalypse Rising}})
   
A number of skirmishes and hostile encounters occurred over the next decade, including encounters at [[Capella IV]], [[Tyree's Planet]], and [[Elas]] in which the Klingons tried to gain strategic advantage and secure mining rights for valuable minerals such as [[dilithium]]. ([[TOS]]: "[[Friday's Child]]", "[[A Private Little War]]", "[[Elaan of Troyius]]")
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Aside from challenges to the primary leadership of the Empire, there was also frequent feuding between the various Great Houses. Most often, the challenge was made on the floor of the High Council and resolved on the battlefield. However, on occasion, some "dishonorable" House leaders chose to make more insidious attacks by undermining the standing of their enemies. [[D'Ghor]] underhandedly attacked the [[House of Kozak]] in this way in the early [[2370s]]. ({{DS9|The House of Quark}})
   
[[Image:D7_battlecruiser.jpg|thumb|180px|left|A D7 battlecruiser.]]
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=== Agencies and institutions ===
In [[2268]], the Klingons entered into a brief and ill-advised alliance with their long-time blood enemies, the [[Romulan]]s. This alliance included a technological exchange, in which the Klingons received [[cloaking device|cloaking technology]] in trade for [[D7 class|D7-class]] battlecruisers. ([[TOS]]: "[[The Enterprise Incident|The ''Enterprise'' Incident]]") The alliance came to a quick and violent end with the [[Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt]] in [[2272]]. ([[DS9]]: "[[Blood Oath (episode)|Blood Oath]]")
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*[[KDA]]
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*[[Klingon Defense Force]] (KDF)
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**[[Klingon Oversight Council]]
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**[[Order of the Bat'leth]]
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**[[Order of Kahless]]
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*[[Klingon High Council]]
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**[[Great House]]s
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*[[Klingon Imperial information net]]
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*[[Klingon Intelligence]]
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*[[Klingon Medical Division]]
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*[[Warrior caste]]
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*[[Yan-Isleth]] (Brotherhood of the Sword)
   
: ''The terms of the treaty are partially speculation, but based on the fact that the Klingons were using cloaking devices and ships called birds-of-prey in ''Star Trek III''. The significance of [[Klach D'Kel Brakt]] is in part speculation, but based on the timing (a century before the DS9 episode), seems to fit the background as a celebrated battle between the Klingons and the Romulans.''
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=== Subject species ===
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* [[Arin'Sen]]
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* [[Kriosian]]s
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* [[Tessic's species]] (uncertain)
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* [[Xarantine]] (uncertain)
   
A brief but ultimately unsuccessful thawing in relations occurred in [[2268]] between the Federation, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Empire, with the founding of a jointly-managed colony on [[Nimbus III]]. Dubbed the "planet of galactic peace," the colony quickly became an embarrassing failure for all three governments, although regular meetings between representatives did take place at the colony for at least the next 20 years. (''[[Star Trek V: The Final Frontier]]'')
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== Economy ==
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The main currency unit of the Empire was the ''[[darsek]]''. ({{TNG|Firstborn}}; {{ENT|Bounty}}; {{DIS|Will You Take My Hand?}})
   
Tensions between the Klingons and the Federation again came to a head in the [[2280s]] with the revelation of the secret [[Project Genesis]], a scientific program developing an advanced method of quickly terraforming worlds — but a method which also had great potential for causing destruction. The Klingons sent a [[Klingon Bird-of-Prey|bird-of-prey]] to secretly obtain the secrets of the [[Genesis Planet]], while at the same time negotiating openly with the Federation. The Klingons planned to accuse the Federation of duplicity in developing Genesis as a weapon of awesome power and using the negotiations as a cover. (''[[Star Trek III: The Search for Spock]]'') However, when the crew of the [[USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)|USS ''Enterprise'']], commanded by [[James T. Kirk]], managed to capture the bird-of-prey, the [[Klingon ambassador]] proclaimed a vendetta against Kirk, vowing, "there will be no peace as long as Kirk lives!" (''[[Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home]]'')
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The destruction of the Empire's key energy-production facility on the moon of [[Praxis]] was a catastrophic event from which recovery was impossible due to the strain of the Empire's enormous military budget on the resources of their economy. This event was critical in establishing peaceful overtures between the Empire and the [[United Federation of Planets|Federation]]. ({{film|6}})
   
=== Détente and peace ===
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== Culture ==
Although negotiations had proceeded intermittently since the imposition of the Organian Peace Treaty, no major progress was made in establishing any firm relationship between the two powers. The most notable meeting, however, were the [[Korvat Negotiations]] at the [[Korvat colony]] in [[2289]] in which Federation mediator [[Curzon Dax]] met with [[Kang]]. No lasting agreement was reached at this meeting, but Dax did manage to gain grudging respect from the Klingons and established a lasting rapport. ([[DS9]]: "[[Blood Oath (episode)|Blood Oath]]")
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'''See:''' [[Klingon]]
   
[[Image:Gorkon.jpg|thumb|right|Chancellor Gorkon raises a toast.]]
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== Appendices ==
The situation abruptly changed with the explosion of the Klingon [[moon]] of [[Praxis]] in [[2293]]. The disaster caused major problems for the Klingon economy and military, as well as a major ecological crisis on Qo'noS itself. The [[Chancellor of the Klingon High Council]], [[Gorkon]], took the controversial move of proposing a full peace treaty and establishing a process for dismantling the military fortifications and outposts along their mutual border — the military emplacements and warships that the Klingons could no longer afford.
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=== Background information ===
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The unrealized series ''[[Star Trek: Phase II]]'' would have established a Klingon Empire which would have been based more on Imperial [[Japan]] (much like the Romulans were based on the Roman Empire), rather than the Klingon Empire described here, which as commonly regarded as a metaphor for the Soviet Union during the Cold War. See [[Kitumba]].
   
However, peace would not come easily. While en route to a meeting with the [[Federation president]] on [[Earth]], Gorkon was assassinated by Starfleet conspirators from the [[USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A)|USS ''Enterprise''-A]], who were working in cooperation with Klingon counterparts who also opposed any peace treaty between the two enemies. Gorkon's daughter, [[Azetbur]], was appointed as the new chancellor in her father's place, and despite enormous pressure from her advisors to abandon the peace initiative, she chose to press forward and see her father's vision fulfilled. The ensuing [[Khitomer Conference]] resulted in the signing of the [[Khitomer Accords]], a treaty which became the foundation for peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. (''[[Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country]]'')
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Many of the notions ultimately ascribed to the Klingon Empire were originally devised by [[Ronald D. Moore]]. In a Klingon-defining memo he wrote to [[Michael Piller]] before beginning work on {{TNG|Sins of the Father}}, Moore wrote, "''Unlike the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire is not an amalgam of several different star systems brought together by common purpose and values. The Klingon Empire sprang from a single, relatively poor planet in a modest star system. The worlds that now make up the Empire were either subjugated in a not-so-distant past or were annexed at the point of a sword. The Empire is efficiently managed and extremely well run. No star system has ever broken away from Klingon rule in over two centuries of steady conquest. This is not to say that the member worlds of the Klingon Empire are straining at the bit to break away from despotic rule. Quite the contrary, the member worlds of the Empire have learned the many advantages and benefits of their association with the Klingons and few would choose to leave, even if given the option.''" A breakdown of the Empire's political framework was also provided in the memo, explaining that a High Council had ultimate rule over all aspects of Klingon life but that the daily ruling of the planets in the empire was "left to local families and clans" as well as outlining the existence of an almost-completely ceremonial Emperor who had the option of reassuming power if he should decide to do so. ("Sins of the Father" [[audio commentary]], [[TNG Season 3 Blu-ray]])
   
The relationship between the two great powers, however, remained rocky for the next several decades. By the early [[2340s]], the two powers once again stood on the brink of war. However, a single courageous act by the crew of a Federation starship would finally change relations for the better. The starship [[USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-C)|USS ''Enterprise''-C]] responded to a [[distress signal]] from the colony on Narendra III, which was under attack by the Romulans. Despite overwhelming odds, the ''Enterprise''-C rushed to the rescue, and the crew's conspicuous heroism in attempting to protect potential enemies left a lasting impression on the Klingons. A few years later, the [[Treaty of Alliance]] was signed, finally establishing a firm friendship between the two former enemies just as the Organians had predicted almost eighty years before. ([[TNG]]: "[[Yesterday's Enterprise|Yesterday's ''Enterprise'']]", [[DS9]]: "[[The Way of the Warrior]]")
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In the {{s|TNG}} episode {{e|Samaritan Snare}}, [[Wesley Crusher]] asked {{Captain}} [[Jean-Luc Picard|Picard]] if an event happened "before the Klingons joined the Federation." This statement has never been explained in canon and later episodes clearly show a Klingon Empire that didn't join the Federation. However, it is possible he meant that the Klingons joined the Federation as allies. [Per the ''TNG ''"bible", the Empire joined the Federation, and in the Season One episode "Heart of Glory", the Federation crest was beside the Klingon Empire's behind the commander of the Klingon cruiser pursuing the three fugitives.]
   
=== Civil war ===
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=== External links ===
Despite the establishment of a full peace treaty with the Federation, the Empire would not remain at peace for very long. During the reign of Chancellor [[K'mpec]] (the longest-lived chancellor in Klingon history), two rival factions developed in the [[Klingon High Council]]. One, led by [[Gowron]], favored continuing the peaceful relationship with the Federation, while the other, led by [[Duras, son of Ja'rod|Duras]], advocated setting an independent and aggressive policy that would. Duras was also secretly allied with Romulan interests who were seeking to split the Federation-Klingon alliance. By early [[2367]], the two factions were on the verge of starting a new civil war. ([[TNG]]: "[[Reunion]]")
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* {{mbeta}}
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* {{Wikipedia}}
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* [http://www.klingon.org/ Klingon Imperial Diplomatic Corps] &ndash; an extensive site with detailed information about Klingon history and culture
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* [http://www.academy.step-into.de/moodle/ Imperial Klingon Academy] &ndash; Klingon Academy 'ampaS tlhIngan &ndash; helping to promote Klingon education, culture and family lines
   
[[Image:Qonosfire.jpg|thumb|left|Qo'noS burns during the civil war.]]
 
Although Duras was killed by [[Worf]] an his relationship with the Romulans exposed, Duras's sisters, [[Lursa]] and [[B'Etor]] continued the struggle in their brother's place. They presented [[Toral]], the illegitimate son of Duras, to challenge Gowron for leadership of the Council. Because the majority of the Council had been corrupted by the [[House of Duras]], they sided with the Duras sisters and walked out of the Council when [[Arbiter of Succession]] [[Jean-Luc Picard]] rejected Toral's claim, making official the division of the Empire. ([[TNG]]: "[[Redemption, Part I]]")
 
 
The civil war, when it finally broke out, was as bold and bloody as any other conflict in Klingon history. The warriors of the Empire threw themselves into the fight with typical zeal — for example, [[Kurn]] was heard to shout, "Our time for glory is here!" In the first three engagements, the forces allied with the Duras family decisively defeated Gowron's allies. However, it was not generally realized at the time that the Duras forces were secretly receiving material aid from the Romulan Empire. The Romulans hoped that a victorious Duras family would end the Federation-Klingon alliance and create a new Romulan-Klingon alliance to shift the balance of power in the quadrant.
 
 
However, interests in Starfleet recognized the probability that the Romulans were interfering in the conflict. Jean-Luc Picard and the [[USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)|USS ''Enterprise''-D]] led a fleet of starships to the Romulan-Klingon border, establishing a blockade and preventing the Romulans from sending the Duras forces further assistance. When the Romulan connection was finally revealed, support quickly fell away from the Duras family, and Gowron successfully reunited the Empire under his leadership. ([[TNG]]: "[[Redemption, Part II]]")
 
 
'''See also:''' [[Klingon Civil War]].
 
 
=== Renewed hostilities ===
 
The Federation-Klingon alliance would be sorely tested in the [[2370s]], after the Federation made [[first contact]] with the [[Dominion]] in the [[Gamma Quadrant]]. The leaders of the Dominion, the [[Founder]]s, had the express goal of conquering all of the powers of the [[Alpha Quadrant]] in order to prevent them from threatening the [[Great Link]]. ([[DS9]]: "[[The Search, Part II]]") In late [[2371]], the Dominion captured [[Martok]], a trusted advisor to Gowron, and replaced him with a shapeshifter impersonator. ([[DS9]]: "[[Apocalypse Rising]]", "[[In Purgatory's Shadow]]")
 
 
The Changeling posing as Martok convinced Gowron that the recent civilian uprising in the [[Cardassian Union]] had been engineered and supported by the Dominion, and that the uprising heralded an imminent invasion by the Dominion into the Alpha Quadrant. To prevent this invasion from occurring, Gowron launched a massive assault against the Cardassian Empire in early [[2372]] with the goal of conquering all Cardassian territory to ensure that it could not be taken by the Dominion.
 
 
When the [[Federation Council]] protested Gowron's actions, Gowron took it as a betrayal of the alliance and withdrew from the [[Khitomer Accords]], ending the Federation-Klingon alliance. Although no declaration of official hostilities was made, a state of near-war developed between the two powers; the Klingons even launched a preemptive attack against the Federation outpost [[Deep Space 9]] in order to capture the remaining free members of the [[Cardassian]] [[Detapa Council]]. However, DS9 captain [[Benjamin Sisko]] pointed out to Gowron that a war between the Federation, the Klingons, and the Cardassians was exactly what the Dominion wanted — a divided Alpha Quadrant that would be ripe for conquest in the future. Faced with this reasoning, Gowron called an end to the invasion and halted the attack against DS9. ([[DS9]]: "[[The Way of the Warrior]]")
 
 
However, peace would not return. The Federation had refused to fight alongside their allies and had actually sided against them in battle, and the Klingons could not forgive or forget this transgression easily. A tense stand-off developed over the next year, with the Klingons attempting to make political inroads against both the Cardassians and the Federation to justify their offensives. ([[DS9]]: "[[Sons of Mogh]]", "[[Rules of Engagement]]")
 
 
Finally, in late 2372 and at the Martok Changeling's suggestion, Gowron demanded that the Federation relinquish claims to a number of territories along their mutual border, or face war. When the Federation Council refused the demands, the Empire launched a massive invasion of the Federation. The [[Second Federation-Klingon War]] was brutal, but short — only a few weeks after it began, Gowron called an end to the conflict after a Starfleet covert ops team revealed that Martok was actually a shapeshifter, and the entire war had been engineered to divide the two former allies. ([[DS9]]: "[[Apocalypse Rising]]")
 
 
=== The Dominion War ===
 
When the Dominion annexed the Cardassian Union in mid-[[2373]], the Klingons were quickly defeated by the [[Jem'Hadar]] and driven from all of their Cardassian conquests. Faced with the prospect of a larger war against a much more powerful enemy, Gowron agreed to re-sign the Khitomer Accords and renew the alliance with the Federation. ([[DS9]]: "[[By Inferno's Light]]")
 
 
[[Image:Operation_return_klingons.jpg|thumb|200px|right|Klingon forces relieve the Federation fleet during Operation Return in 2374.]]
 
The Empire and the Federation would ultimately fight side by side in the ensuing [[Dominion War]] that broke out in late 2373; many of the most important engagements of the war were conducted in concert, including the [[Battle of Deep Space Nine]], the attack on [[Torros III]], and the [[Battle of Bajor]]. ([[DS9]]: "[[Call to Arms]]", "[[The Sacrifice of Angels]]")
 
 
The anti-Dominion alliance gained new, unlikely allies in mid-[[2374]] when the Romulan Empire declared war against the Dominion. Although the Romulans and the Klingons both harbored deep hatred for the other, the two former enemies managed to put aside their differences in order to successfully fight the Dominion. ([[DS9]]: "[[Tears of the Prophets (episode)|Tears of the Prophets]]")
 
 
However, ultimate victory would eventually come at a very high price. When the [[Breen Confederacy]] entered the war in late [[2375]], the use of the previously-unknown [[energy dampening weapon]] effectively nullified the power of Starfleet and the Romulan forces, leaving the Klingons to fight on their own, outnumbered twenty to one. Rather than fight a holding action, however, Gowron ordered that Martok (the real Martok, who had been rescued from a Dominion [[Internment Camp 371|internment camp]] in 2373) launch a full-scale offensive against the enemy, claiming that they had the advantage of surprise. ([[DS9]]: "[[When It Rains...]]")
 
 
Ostensibly, Gowron hoped to achieve quick victory against the Dominion and claim all of the glory for the Empire in winning the war without the assistance of the Federation or the Romulans. But Gowron's real plan was much more subversive and political. Gowron feared the growing popularity of Martok, who had commanded the Klingon forces on the front lines and was rapidly gaining heroic status among the soldiers of the Empire. Gowron hoped to reclaim some of that popularity for himself by personally commanding the Klingon war effort from Deep Space 9, and by discrediting Martok in sending him on numerous hopeless missions.
 
 
When no other Klingons would protest, Worf challenged Gowron to single combat, claiming that Gowron was a coward for jeopardizing the very existence of the Empire (and indeed the safety of the entire Alpha Quadrant) in order to satisfy his need for political security. Worf killed Gowron in the fight, thus claiming the right to rule the Empire himself. However, Worf declined the position and nominated Martok instead. ([[DS9]]: "[[Tacking into the Wind]]")
 
 
Ultimately, the Empire would share in victory with the Federation and the Romulans after the final defeat of the Dominion at the [[Battle of Cardassia]] in late 2375. ([[DS9]]: "[[What You Leave Behind]]")
 
 
== Politics ==
 
Officially, the Klingon Empire is a feudal monarchy, with power residing in the [[Klingon emperor|Emperor]], who is traditionally a descendant of Kahless. In reality, however, the power lies with the [[Klingon High Council]], which is led by the [[Klingon chancellor|Chancellor]]. The position of emperor was abandoned (but not officially abolished) in the mid-[[21st century]], but was revived in [[2369]] when a group of [[Klingon cleric|clerics]] created a clone of Kahless, who was accepted as the new Emperor, albeit only as a figurehead. ([[TNG]]: "[[Rightful Heir]]")
 
 
The true power of the Empire is held by the Chancellor and the High Council, which consists of 24 members representing various [[Great House]]s (essentially, the nobility). Women are not permitted to hold seats on the High Council. ([[TNG]]: "[[Redemption, Part I]]")
 
 
Various factions almost constantly challenge the leadership of the Empire, and so over time the Klingons have developed a strict and rigorous [[Rite of Succession]] to determine their leader. According to [[Klingon tradition|tradition]], one may challenge the leader on the grounds of cowardice or dishonorable conduct and fight in single combat. Should the challenger slay the incumbent, he assumes the role as the new leader. ([[DS9]]: "[[Tacking into the Wind]]")
 
 
Because of the Klingon propensity for violence, some shrewd Klingon chancellors have redirected hostilities outward, when they would otherwise cause a civil war. In the [[2150s]], the Klingon chancellor instructed [[Duras, son of Toral|Duras]] to recapture Jonathan Archer after the latter escaped imprisonment on Rura Penthe. In this way, the chancellor focused the blame for certain internal problems on an external cause. ([[ENT]]: "[[The Expanse]]") Likewise, Gowron focused his soldiers' energies on invading first the Cardassian Union and later the Federation in order to avoid internal conflicts at home. ([[DS9]]: "[[The Way of the Warrior]]", "[[Apocalypse Rising]]")
 
 
Aside from challenges to the primary leadership of the Empire, there is also frequent feuding between the various Great Houses. Most often, the challenge is made on the floor of the High Council and resolved on the battlefield. However, on occasion, some "dishonorable" House leaders have chosen to make more insidious attacks by undermining the standing of their enemies; [[D'Ghor]] underhandedly attacked the [[House of Kozak]] in this way in the early [[2370s]]. ([[DS9]]: "[[The House of Quark]]")
 
 
The main currency unit of the Empire is the [[darsek]]. ([[TNG]]: "[[Firstborn]]", [[ENT]]: "[[Bounty]]")
 
 
== Culture ==
 
'''See:''' [[Klingon]]
 
   
== External links ==
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[[bg:Клингонска империя]]
* [http://www.klingon.org/ Klingon Imperial Diplomatic Corps] — an extensive site with detailed information about Klingon history and culture.
+
[[cs:Klingonská říše]]
* [http://www.kli.org/ Klingon Language Institute] — ''the'' site to visit for instructions on how to write and speak the Klingon language.
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[[de:Klingonisches Reich]]
{{featured}}
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[[es:Imperio Klingon]]
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[[fr:Empire Klingon]]
  +
[[ja:クリンゴン帝国]]
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[[nl:Klingon rijk]]
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[[pl:Imperium Klingońskie]]
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[[ru:Клингонская империя]]
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[[sr:Клингонско царство]]
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[[sv:Klingonska imperiet]]
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[[Category:Governments]]

Latest revision as of 16:35, December 7, 2019

"I will fight any battle, anywhere… for the Empire!"

The Klingon Empire was the official state of the Klingon people. It was founded in the 9th century by Kahless the Unforgettable, who first united the Klingon homeworld of Qo'noS. Since then, the Klingon Empire expanded its sphere of influence by conquering numerous systems and incorporating them. This made the Empire a major power in its region of the galaxy, as of the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th centuries.

Though exclusively called "the Klingon Empire" or internally "the Empire", one exception was a reference to the "Klingon Imperial Empire" in "Sins of the Father".

History Edit

Main article: Klingon history
Kahless painting

A painting of Kahless the Unforgettable as seen on Boreth in 2369

The mytho-historical origin of the Klingon Empire revolves around Kahless the Unforgettable, who emerged as a champion of the people in the 9th century AD and became the first Emperor. In the 14th century, the Empire faced one of its biggest threats when a race from the Gamma Quadrant the Klingons called Hur'q invaded Qo'noS. They looted many valuable cultural treasures, including the revered Sword of Kahless, but then left again. In the mid-21st century, the reign of the last Emperor ended and authority passed to the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council. (e.g., TNG: "Rightful Heir"; DS9: "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places", "The Sword of Kahless")

Because of a Human-caused medical crisis and later territorial conflicts, United Earth and subsequently the United Federation of Planets became the Empire's main adversary in the 22nd and 23rd centuries, during which cold as well as hot wars were fought. While the Empire was in disarray as of the first half of the 23rd century, the conflict with the Federation helped to unify the disparate Klingon Houses and stabilized the rule of the Chancellor. (e.g., ENT: "Affliction", "Divergence"; DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars", "Point of Light"; TOS: "Errand of Mercy")

After the Praxis disaster of 2293, Chancellor Gorkon pursued peace with the Federation, resulting in the Khitomer Accords and ultimately paving the way for the Treaty of Alliance between both powers. Klingon-Federation cooperation persisted despite interference by the Romulan Star Empire and a Klingon Civil War from 2367 to 2368. (e.g., Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; TNG: "Reunion", "Redemption", "Redemption II")

In the 2370s, the Dominion, a hegemonic empire from the Gamma Quadrant managed to sow discord among Alpha and Beta Quadrant powers, resulting in yet another brief Federation-Klingon war. Eventually, both powers joined forces and, after a costly war, together defeated the Dominion in 2375. (e.g., DS9: "Apocalypse Rising", "By Inferno's Light", "What You Leave Behind")

Territory Edit

See also: Klingon planets, Federation-Klingon border, Klingon-Romulan border
Alpha Beta Quadrant Overview star chart

The frontline between the Klingon Empire and the Federation in 2256

Qo'noS and many other Klingon systems, including Ty'Gokor which was said to lie deep within Klingon territory, were located in the Beta Quadrant. (Star Trek Into Darkness, display graphic; DIS: "Context Is for Kings", display graphic; DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")

Klingons were a very territorial species, vigorously patrolling the borders of their Empire with severe consequences for any trespassers. The Klingon Empire shared borders with the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation, the latter of which was protected by a Neutral zone during the later 23rd century. (e.g., ENT: "Bounty"; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; TNG: "Aquiel").

The Empire contained Klingon colonies as well as annexed, previously inhabited worlds. (e.g., ENT: "Judgment"; TNG: "The Mind's Eye") The foundation of a Klingon colony could be preceded by bio-surveying potentially suitable planets. (DS9: "Dramatis Personae") For conquered inhabited worlds, the traditional Klingon practice called for the execution of all government officials, and the installation of an Imperial Overseer, e.g., a governor, to put down any further resistance. An alternative approach was the creation of a puppet regime under a native governor. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy", "A Private Little War"; DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")

Government Edit

Great Hall, night

The Great Hall in the First City on Qo'noS, seat of the Klingon High Council

Officially, the Klingon Empire was a feudal monarchy, with power residing in the Emperor, who was traditionally a descendant of Kahless. However, de facto power lay with the Klingon High Council. The position of emperor was abandoned (but not officially abolished) in the mid-21st century, but was revived in 2369 when a group of clerics created a clone of Kahless, who was accepted as the new Emperor, albeit only as a religious figurehead. (TNG: "Rightful Heir")

The Chancellor, the de facto leader of the Empire, was head of the High Council, which consisted of twenty-four members representing various Great Houses (tuqmey, essentially, the nobility). The Chancellor was protected at all times by the Yan-Isleth (Brotherhood of the Sword). (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")

Women were not normally permitted to hold seats on the High Council. Despite that, Gowron once offered Ambassador K'Ehleyr a seat on the Council in exchange for her support of his bid to be Chancellor. (TNG: "Redemption", "Reunion") Also, Azetbur, the daughter of Chancellor Gorkon, was permitted to succeed him as Chancellor in 2293. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

It is possible that this was permitted because she was made the head of her house, due to the unusual circumstances of her father's death. The Star Trek VI novelization indicates that Gorkon suspected that something might happen to him on the voyage and had arranged with his allies on the High Council for them to back Azetbur as Chancellor if he were to be killed. The novel Serpents Among the Ruins establishes Azetbur's assassination by a Klingon named Ditagh, who hoped that after her death the more powerful General Kaarg would rise to power. Kaarg would indeed rise to power and it would be him that would forbid women ever on the High Council again.

Various factions almost constantly challenged the leadership of the Empire, and so over time the Klingons developed a strict and rigorous Rite of Succession to determine their leader. According to tradition, one was permitted to challenge the leader on the grounds of cowardice or dishonorable conduct and fight in single combat. Should the challenger slay the incumbent, he assumed the role of the new leader. (DS9: "Tacking Into the Wind")

Because of the Klingon propensity for violence, shrewd Klingon chancellors redirected hostilities outward, where they would otherwise cause a civil war. In the 2150s, the Klingon chancellor instructed Duras to recapture Jonathan Archer after the latter escaped imprisonment on Rura Penthe. In this way, the chancellor focused the blame for certain internal problems on an external cause. (ENT: "The Expanse") Likewise, Gowron focused his soldiers' energies on invading first the Cardassian Union and later the Federation in order to avoid internal conflicts at home. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", "Apocalypse Rising")

Aside from challenges to the primary leadership of the Empire, there was also frequent feuding between the various Great Houses. Most often, the challenge was made on the floor of the High Council and resolved on the battlefield. However, on occasion, some "dishonorable" House leaders chose to make more insidious attacks by undermining the standing of their enemies. D'Ghor underhandedly attacked the House of Kozak in this way in the early 2370s. (DS9: "The House of Quark")

Agencies and institutions Edit

Subject species Edit

Economy Edit

The main currency unit of the Empire was the darsek. (TNG: "Firstborn"; ENT: "Bounty"; DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?")

The destruction of the Empire's key energy-production facility on the moon of Praxis was a catastrophic event from which recovery was impossible due to the strain of the Empire's enormous military budget on the resources of their economy. This event was critical in establishing peaceful overtures between the Empire and the Federation. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Culture Edit

See: Klingon

Appendices Edit

Background information Edit

The unrealized series Star Trek: Phase II would have established a Klingon Empire which would have been based more on Imperial Japan (much like the Romulans were based on the Roman Empire), rather than the Klingon Empire described here, which as commonly regarded as a metaphor for the Soviet Union during the Cold War. See Kitumba.

Many of the notions ultimately ascribed to the Klingon Empire were originally devised by Ronald D. Moore. In a Klingon-defining memo he wrote to Michael Piller before beginning work on TNG: "Sins of the Father", Moore wrote, "Unlike the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire is not an amalgam of several different star systems brought together by common purpose and values. The Klingon Empire sprang from a single, relatively poor planet in a modest star system. The worlds that now make up the Empire were either subjugated in a not-so-distant past or were annexed at the point of a sword. The Empire is efficiently managed and extremely well run. No star system has ever broken away from Klingon rule in over two centuries of steady conquest. This is not to say that the member worlds of the Klingon Empire are straining at the bit to break away from despotic rule. Quite the contrary, the member worlds of the Empire have learned the many advantages and benefits of their association with the Klingons and few would choose to leave, even if given the option." A breakdown of the Empire's political framework was also provided in the memo, explaining that a High Council had ultimate rule over all aspects of Klingon life but that the daily ruling of the planets in the empire was "left to local families and clans" as well as outlining the existence of an almost-completely ceremonial Emperor who had the option of reassuming power if he should decide to do so. ("Sins of the Father" audio commentary, TNG Season 3 Blu-ray)

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Samaritan Snare", Wesley Crusher asked Captain Picard if an event happened "before the Klingons joined the Federation." This statement has never been explained in canon and later episodes clearly show a Klingon Empire that didn't join the Federation. However, it is possible he meant that the Klingons joined the Federation as allies. [Per the TNG "bible", the Empire joined the Federation, and in the Season One episode "Heart of Glory", the Federation crest was beside the Klingon Empire's behind the commander of the Klingon cruiser pursuing the three fugitives.]

External links Edit

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