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Cardassian Union

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Cardassian Union
Cardassian Union logo.png

Emblem of the Cardassian Union

Emblem of the Cardassian Union
Founded: 19th century
Location: Alpha Quadrant
Affiliation: Dominion (2373 - 2375)
Capital: Cardassia Prime
Legislature: Detapa Council (powerless pre-2372)
Central Command and Obsidian Order (de facto pre-2372)
Judiciary: Cardassian Supreme Tribunal
Major Species: Cardassians
Military: Cardassian military
Intelligence Service: Obsidian Order (pre-2373)
Cardassian Intelligence Bureau (c. 2373-2375)
Language: Cardassian language
Currency: Cardassian lek
"What is it with the Cardassians? It seems every week there's betrayal, a military coup, forced occupation of other worlds, or kidnapping and replacing members of other species."

The Cardassian Union (also referred to as the Cardassian Empire or simply Cardassia) was the official governing body of the Cardassian people. The capital world was Cardassia Prime. The Cardassian Union was regarded as one of the great powers in the Alpha Quadrant.



The Cardassian Union was formed under a treaty that established a power-sharing agreement between the Cardassian Central Command and the Obsidian Order. Friction always existed between the two organizations as the Central Command worked to expand the reaches of the Union and the Obsidian Order worked to suppress it. The civilian Detapa Council was established to serve as the chief governing body between the two branches, however, in practice, the Council was virtually powerless. (DS9: "Defiant")

In late-2371 or early-2372, following the fall of the Obsidian Order at the Battle of the Omarion Nebula, the Detapa Council and the Cardassian dissident movement overthrew the Central Command, establishing control over the government. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")

In 2373, Gul Dukat secretly negotiated with the Dominion for the Cardassian Union to become its newest members. The Detapa Council was overthrown and Gul Dukat established himself as ruler of the Cardassian Union. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light") This arrangement was later revealed to be inaccurate as Dukat (and his successors Legate Damar and Legate Broca) were actually subservient to the Vorta and the Founders.

The Cardassian military was led by the Central Command and the Cardassian forces were divided into several orders. The Obsidian Order, the intelligence agency of the Union, was sometimes referred to as part of the structure of the Cardassian military orders. (See also: Cardassian ranks)

The highest court of justice in the Cardassian Union was the Cardassian Supreme Tribunal. The Cardassian Articles of Jurisprudence provided the laws governing treatment and rights of prisoners in the Cardassian justice system. (DS9: "Tribunal")

Subject species


During the 24th century, the Cardassians maintained trade alliances with the Valerians and Klaestrons. They also were known to use the Xepolites and Lissepians as trade intermediaries in arrangements that may otherwise have been considered illegal outside of the Union. (DS9: "Dax", "Dramatis Personae", "The Maquis, Part II")

Many of the primary worlds in the Cardassian Union lacked an abundance of natural resources. For this reason, the Union relied heavily on strip mining resources from neighboring planets which were not part of other Alpha Quadrant powers, such as Bajor. As opposed to making trade alliances with them, the Cardassian Central Command would often occupy worlds and use the populations as forced laborers. (TNG: "Ensign Ro"; DS9: "Emissary", "Duet")

The lek was the common form of currency within the Union. (VOY: "Caretaker")

Parallel universe

In another quantum reality, the Cardassian Union had been overthrown by the Bajorans, who became increasingly aggressive towards the Federation, prior to 2370. (TNG: "Parallels")


Territorial claims

Ships and technology

External links

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