|Sovereignty:||c. 9th century|
|System of government:||Feudal Lordship|
|Seat of government:||Great Hall|
|Head of state:||Emperor (Kahless, 2379)|
|Head of government:||Chancellor (Martok, 2380)|
The Klingon Empire (Klingonese: tlhIngan wo') is an interstellar political entity in the Beta Quadrant, headed by the Klingon Chancellor and High Council, based in the Great Hall in the First City on planet Qo'noS.
The empire was begun by Kahless the Unforgettable, who first united the Klingon people. Fifteen hundred years later, Kahless, son of Kahless, a clone of the original Kahless, was installed as Emperor of the Klingon Empire, the first in three centuries, though given no political power. (TNG episode: Rightful Heir)
Non-Klingon subjects of the Klingon Empire are called "jeghpu'wI", a status greater than slave, but less than citizen. (TNG novel: Diplomatic Implausibility) (see: "Klinzhai; a "pseudo"-Klingon. Or the archaic term for Qo'noS; Kling.)
The Klingon Empire was first formed around the end of the first millennium, this Empire fell to the Hur'q. As well as the ancient Karsid Empire. (TOS novel: Ishmael) The Klingons soon recovered and began to build their Empire. By the 22nd century the Klingons were a major power in the Beta Quadrant. (DS9 episode: The Sword of Kahless; ENT episode: Broken Bow)
Throughout much of the 23rd century the Klingons were engaged with hostilities with the United Federation of Planets which finally came to an end in 2293 with the signing of the Khitomer Accords. (TOS episode: Errand of Mercy; movie: The Undiscovered Country)
By the mid-24th century the Klingons and Federation were stanch allies and fought side by side, along with the Romulans, to defend the Alpha and Beta Quadrants from the Dominion in the Dominion War of the 2370s. (DS9 episodes: By Inferno's Light, What You Leave Behind, et al.)
Officially, the Klingon Empire is a feudal monarchy, with power residing in the Emperor, who is traditionally a descendant of Kahless. In reality, however, the power lies with the Klingon High Council, which is led by the 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 clerics created a clone of Kahless, who was accepted as the new Emperor, albeit only as a figurehead. (TNG episode: "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 Houses (essentially, the nobility).
Women are not normally permitted to hold seats on the High Council. (TNG episode: "Redemption, Part I") However, Azetbur, the daughter of Chancellor Gorkon, was permitted to succeed him as Chancellor in 2293. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
It is believed this was permitted because she was made the head of her house, due the unusual circumstances of her father's death. 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 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 episode: "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 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 episode: "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 episode: "The House of Quark")
Part of the Empire's alliance with the Federation, under Article 749.3, there was to be a free exchange of any and all information pertaining to the rescue and safety of stranded refugees. (TNG novel: War Drums)
The Klingon Empire is a warrior culture and embraces these attributes. The role of expansion and defence are both prided and conducted by the Klingon Defense Force. While the agency controls the starships that bring new worlds into the empire, it is the Planetary Regiments that conquer the world itself and secure it in the name of the Empire. The upper levels of the Defense Force consists of the Klingon High Command.
Being a warrior culture, the Klingons developed several combat tactics to use in battle one of which is the N'yengoran strategy which details ways of attacking fortified ground based enemy positions. (DS9 episode: Blood Oath)
One such military tactic is the BIng maneuver.
The flagship of the Klingon Defense Force is the IKS Sword of Kahless.
Klingon law is quite brutal towards offenders of the crime with sentences including imprisonment on the ice mines of Rura Penthe or even death. During the trial, the Judicial Charter of Koloth allows the Advocate to attack the charges made against them at any point during the tribunal. (ENT: Judgment).
Religion plays an important part in the Klingon Empire, and many are devout worshipers of Kahless, or the Kuvah'magh. Many Klingons also celebrate religious holidays, including the Day of Honor and the Kot'baval festival.
The immediate neighbours of the Empire was the region of space where the members of the United Federation of Planets was located. The Klingon Neutral Zone would be formed as a result of the Organian Peace Treaty, which defined a border between the two powers. The Alshanai Rift was one region of space that bordered the two states.
The Romulan Star Empire would also be an immediate neighbour of the Empire.
The Klingon Empire would also share a border with the Orion Syndicate which would be known as the Borderland, a lawless area between the two with many ships being preyed upon that crossed this region of space.
Numerous other neighbours of the Empire included the Sha'Kurian Ducal Territories. The Tholian Assembly was another neighbour of the Empire with the Taurus Reach, known to the Klingons as the Gonmog Sector, inbetween them and the Federation.
See also Klingon worlds
|Major States in Local Space|
|Khitomer Accords alliance||Ferengi Alliance • Imperial Romulan State • Klingon Empire • United Federation of Planets|
|Typhon Pact members||Breen Confederacy • Gorn Hegemony • Holy Order of the Kinshaya • Romulan Star Empire • Tholian Assembly • Tzenkethi Coalition|
|Non-aligned states||Cardassian Union • Danteri Empire • First Federation • The Patriarchy • Sheliak Corporate • Tezwa • Thallonian Protectorate • Talarian Republic • Ubarrak Primacy • Regnancy of the Carnelian Throne • Daa'Vit Confederacy • Metron Consortium|