Code Geass is originally set in an alternate universe where three superpowers, the Holy Britannian Empire, the Chinese Federation, and the European Union have divided up control of the world (with the exception of an independent or uninhabited Australia) and maintain a tentative balance for the first part of the series. During the course of Megiddo, the balance shifts as the Chinese Federation is annexed by Britannia, thus reducing the number of superpowers to Britannia and Europe, while the reformed Order of the Black Knights continue to operate from the former Japanese island of Okinawa.
Holy Britannian EmpireEdit
The Holy Britannian Empire is an imperial monarchy and the most prominent superpower within the world of Code Geass, controlling over one-third of the world at the start of the series, based in North America with its capital city being the northwestern city of Pendragon. Britannian society is an aristocracy run according to a caricature of Social Darwinism, with a hierarchy of competing nobles at the top and the peoples of conquered territories (referred to either by their area number or as "Numbers") living in poverty or as unequal Honorary Britannians.
During the original series, the Britannian Empire controls the entire Western Hemisphere (both American continents), New Zealand, and recently conquered Japan, as well as the recently conquered Middle East. During Megiddo, Britannia successfully annexes Central Asia, Mongolia, Pakistan, China, India and Afghanistan through political marriage between First Prince Odysseus and Chinese Chairwoman Jiang Lihua, while parts of Africa, Russia and Western Europe have been conquered from the latest war with the EU.
The Holy Britannian Empire began life in the midst of Julius Caesar's invasion of the British Isles, when a Celtic "Super-King" Eowyn was elected to lead the various island tribes against the Romans, in turn successfully resisting the invasion. Soon after, the Britannian Imperial line of absolute monarchy would begin, with the monarchy being largely identical to the real world English monarchy until the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. Rather than her dying without propogating, she had an illegitimate son "Henry IX" who took the throne instead of the House of Stuart's James I, thus starting the so-called Golden Age of the Tudor Dynasty. Later on in the nineteenth century, her descendent Elizabeth III died after losing the British Isles to (the capital was subsequently moved to the American territories), and a new Imperial line was established by a prominent noble family.
The European Union, or E.U., is an economic and political union encompassing all of Europe (including Great Britain), Africa, and Russia. Its capital city was originally located in Paris, France, but in the advent of its previous war with the Soviet Union, it had been relocated to Berlin, Germany. Compared to Imperialistic Britannia, the EU is a liberal democratic union of states, in which each state's population elects a Governor, who serves as the administrator of that state, and a Representative, who serves the titular role of that state before a central government body known as the Council of Forty. The EU as a whole is headed by a President, who is voted unanimously by the European states.
Though it would not come into being until the early nineteenth century, the European Union's roots began during the Age of Revolution, in which almost every nation of Europe fell into systematic revolutions that ousted the ruling monarchies, with only Britannia maintaining its own. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, General Napoleon Bonaparte would stage a coup against the newly established republican government, in which he eventually declared himself First Consul of France. From there, Bonaparte would go on to conquer and/or open diplomatic channels with other reformed European countries, convincing them to unite under one (his) banner and eventually giving way to a true European Union.
Throughout its history, the EU would be in conflict with its primary rival, Britannia. In the beginning it was the French that performed the unthinkable and conquered the British Isles for the first time since the Norman Conquest, forcing the ruling monarchy to flee to the Americas and reestablish the Imperial capital there. From that point on, the EU would engage in minor skirmishes with Britannia until the Empire formally declared war in 2020, culminating into the Great World War. With the Chinese Federation no longer existent, the European Union stands as the last rival superpower to Britannia.
The Chinese Federation is a Marxist political federation that spans the Asian and Pacific regions, including Central, South, East, and Southeast Asia and is the most populous (and poverty-stricken) of the three superpowers.
Having long done away with the original monarchy, its government and political structure is based along the lines of communist principles, namely the centralization of resources and promotion of social equality, all with direct administration handled by the Guaoyuwan or "State Council", thus making the Federation into a federal socialist republic. However, this governing system was perverted under the later members of the Council, who used their authority to establish power and prosperity for themselves at the expense of the Chinese people. Over the years the Council would wrestle administrative power away from the head of state, known as the Guojia Zhuxi or "Chairman of State", at long last establishing absolute control for themselves upon the election of China's first and seemingly last Chairwoman, Jiang Lihua (otherwise known as Tianzi), who was too underaged and inexperienced to stand against them. The government of the Federation is centralized within a large palace situated in the capital city of Luoyang.
Historically, the shift from the Empire of China to the Federation began in the aftermath of the Xinhai Rebellion of 1911, in which the ruling Qing Dynasty is ousted and replaced by a new democratic rulership headed by revolutionary leader Sun Zhongshan, and then replaced again by Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China. Heavily influenced by the works of western philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, this new leadership would alter the Chinese government to fit communist philosophy. Further on, in fear of being conquered by either Britannia or Europe, the Chinese launched a land war (known as the War of the Orient) that would encompass land from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the west all the to the Korean Peninsula to the east as Federal territory. However, this territorial growth would come costly to the Federation, as its key resources soon become drained, leading to an outgrowth of poverty to overtake the land.
In 2017, the Chinese Federation attempted to invade Japan under the pretext of "liberation" from Britannian control, but in the end Britannia was able to thwart the invasion with indirect support from Zero and the Order of the Black Knights, who were not fooled by the Federation's intentions. Meanwhile, the resistance movement in India lends the Black Knights their lead weapons designer, Rakshata Chawla, in hopes that an independent Japan will in return aid them in gaining independence from China.
In 2018, Second Prince Schneizel el Britannia would seek to annex the Federation into the Empire through a political marriage between his brother Odysseus and Chairwoman Jiang. However, in the midst of the ceremony, General Li Xingke, otherwise known as the Chinese Tiger, would abduct the Chairwoman and spirit her away from the capital with a rebel army. In spite of this, the State Council soon bring about an imposter of Tianzi as a replacement, and the marriage is concluded with the Federation being reestablished as newly founded Areas, all with the former State Council members (now becoming part of Britannian nobility) serving as administrators.
Though now Britannian territory, these Areas are still impoverished for the local Numbers while Britannian colonists live in high luxury. Much like with Japan, a rebellion is created to reestablish the Federation. This rebellion is made up of former elements of the Federation's original military force, the Chinese Liberation Army.
State of OkinawaEdit
Gaining contact to the western world through Marco Polo's expedition to the east, Japan would become the world's main resource for the high energy mineral known as sakuradite, which in turn was named after its similar color to Japanese cherry blossom trees. Originally a feudal land, the emergence of the Boshin War would change the island nation into a western influenced Republic, lead by a Prime Minister in place of a Shogun. From that point, it would become one of the key players in world affairs, until Britannia conquered it in retaliation for the Oriental Incident, as well as to gain control of the sakuradite. Japan would soon after be renamed Area 11 under Britannian rule. However, as Japan's military had not been entirely exhausted at the point of its conquering, resistance activity in the Area was much higher than that of any other region, culminating into the Black Rebellion. To keep Japan from falling into foreign hands, the Britannians enacted Operation Nero and destroyed the entirety of the islands and its population.
In truth however, there were more than ten thousand survivors through the entire chain of islands, including members of the Order of the Black Knights. Sometime later, these survivors would be transported to Okinawa, the only Japanese prefecture that had not become part of Area 11 and so existed as an independent nation, where they would be settled. In turn, the Black Knights would use Okinawa as their main headquarters, eventually reorganizing themselves into a full military force.
Order of the Black KnightsEdit
In the aftermath of the Devastation, the survivors gradually regrouped on Okinawa. It was largely through the efforts of C.C. that the organization avoided fracturing, and in Zero's absence she became the Order's spiritual leader. The Order spent eight years rebuilding, recruiting both Japanese and Britannian survivors of the Devastation, eventually emerging from its ad hoc resistance routes into a true military faction. At the Day of the Founding, they announced their return by launching a lightning raid on the Britannian capital of Pendragon, wherein they succeeded in rescuing Zero and restoring his memories.