Second Empire of Man

Structure of the Second Empire of Man

The Second Empire of Man is an interstellar empire encompassing over 200 planets. Centralized on the planet Sparta, its government is a constitutional monarchy, with a hereditary emperor as head of state. A hereditary aristocracy also exists, and is referred to by Western nobility titles. There are mentions of the Imperial Parliament, Senate, and Assembly, which serve as the legislative branch of the government.
The military arm of the Second Empire is the Imperial Space Navy. It enforces the will of the Crown and its representatives; it also protects worlds from pirates, conducts punitive actions, and suppresses revolts. The Navy consists of its fleets of starships and their crews, Marines, an Admiralty, Intelligence, and a Reserve component. Women are allowed to serve in the Navy, despite the Empire's discriminating attitude toward women. Like the CoDominium Fleet, the Imperial forces are headed by a Grand Admiral.


The Empire is organized by sectors, ruled by a Viceroy who serves as a representative of the Crown. Each sector has its own Council, headed by a Lord President, and its own Parliament. The Imperial government is divided into several ministries, including External Affairs, War, and Science. Some planets are governed by an aristocracy, although at least one member world is a republic.

Inhabited planets within the Empire have varying degrees of power. After Sparta, "Member Kingdoms" are semi-autonomous. "Classified worlds" are member planets over which the Empire has considerable influence, though such worlds still have considerable self-governing powers. Class One worlds are governed by a governor-general, with a council and assembly elected by the planetary population, and are allowed to send representatives to the Parliament. The main requirement to become either a Classified World or a Class One world is the achievement of both spaceflight and unified planetary government. "Colonies" are worlds that have not achieved spaceflight and are also technologically backward. These worlds have no influence over their affairs; Viceroys, nobility, and Imperial colonists are appointed to govern over the native populace. There are also "Primitive" worlds within the Empire; it is unknown what this classification entails.

Civilian groups

Several civilian organizations within the Empire have some influence on government affairs. The Imperial Traders Association is a group of interstellar merchants that has influence over the government. The Church and the Humanity League are also mentioned. The Humanity League is mentioned during the CD and the Second Empire eras. The Church, located in New Rome, is the official religion of the Empire. It uses a hierarchy and follows traditions similar to the Roman Catholic Church. The Empire also tolerates other religions, as Jewish and Islamic worlds are also members.

Books about the Second Empire of Man

N-Space (Jerry Pournelle & Larry Niven, 1990, coll)
(Brenda (only Niven), Building the Mote in God's Eye, part from The Mote in God's Eye)

A Spaceship for the King (as King David's Spaceship in 1981) (1973)
The Mote in God's Eye) (Jerry Pournelle & Larry Niven, 1974)
The Gripping Hand (Jerry Pournelle & Larry Niven, 1993)