In the year 2045 overpopulation had brought the Earth to the brink of destruction. The Earth's population was already in excess of 9 billion people and still growing way beyond the planet's ability to support them. Unless something was done immediately, mankind would face extinction within a few decades.
The Earth Federation Government (EFG) came up with a bold plan to relieve the Earth's overpopulation problem. Massive space colonies were constructed at LaGrange points (points in space between the Earth and the Moon where the gravitational forces of both bodies creates a zone of stability) to hold the excess population. Huge asteroids were towed from the asteroid belt to Earth orbit to provide raw materials for building the colonies, called "Sides," and then the hollowed-out asteroid shells were turned into colonies. Large mining colonies were also built on the Moon to provide raw materials for colony construction, and eventually became huge domed cities holding millions of people. The EFG then started a policy of "forced migration;" everyone not essential to the government was forced to relocate to the new colonies. This period became known as the start of the "Universal Century," and the calendar was changed to represent the year as Universal Century year 0001, or U.C. 0001.
Within 40 years almost 50% of Earth's population had finished migrating to the new space colonies. By this time there were several hundred colonies of different shapes and sizes surrounding the Earth. A general feeling had developed among the colonists that they were no longer part of the Earth, and that "all of mankind should leave Earth, the cradle of life, in order to preserve her." Many of the colonies had banded together and formed their own local governments, political bases, and ideologies. However, the Earth Federation Government still exercised political and economic control over the colonies, much to the colonists' displeasure.
One of the most rebellious colonies was Side 3, located on the far side of the moon away from the Earth. Side 3 had developed into a principality led by Jion Zum Daikun, a philosopher and strong leader. Daikun predicted that life in space would force the human species to evolve into a "new type" of human, and these "New Types" would eventually lead the way for mankind to a new era of peace and prosperity among the stars. His ideas were extremely well received, and by U.C. 0058 Side 3 had declared its independence from the EFG and renamed itself the Jion Republic. The EFG tried to force Side 3 to rejoin them by imposing economic sanctions on the colony, but the Jion republic was firm in its resolve and would not give in. Unfortunately, friction began to develop in the Jion Republic between Jion Zum Daikun and another powerful member of the new government named Degin Sod Zabi. Zabi believed that the EFG government was weak and should be destroyed for the benefit of the colonies, but Daikun was against the idea of war with the EFG. Then in U.C. 0068 Jion Zum Daikun died under extremely mysterious circumstances, and accusations of assassination were never proven. Degin Sod Zabi was appointed as the next prime minister of the Jion Republic.
Under Zabi's rule, the Jion Republic became prosperous, but it also became increasingly militant and warlike. Taking advantage of his current popularity among the masses, Zabi made his move to seize all power in the Republic. In the fall of U.C. 0069 Zabi renamed the Republic to the Jion Archduchy and declared himself Grand Duke. All remaining supporters of Jion Zum Daikun were cast out as Zabi changed the government into a dictatorship with himself and his family in command. Then, under the Zabi family rule, the Jion Archduchy began preparations for war with the EFG.