The Earth Federation is a massive country spanning an entire continent, and it has the largest population in the world. Due to its size and varying geography, the nation has significant ethnic and cultural diversity. A collective belief in a shared history and identity has generally united its people. Traditionally, the people of the Earth Federation have valued their pride, resilience, and strength. During the 100 Year War, the Earth Federation (then called the Earth Kingdom) withstood the Fire Nation’s imperial invasions, but it never fully recovered its previous strength. Its territory was diminished when Fire Lord Zuko and Avatar Aang pushed for the creation of the United Republic of Nations, causing then-King Kuei to cede a significant amount of resource-rich Earth Kingdom lands. The belief that this territory was wrongly seized by the Avatar and Fire Nation remained a source of contention between the Earth Queen Hou-Ting and other nations. Kuvira, the leader of the Earth Empire, also held this sentiment and attempted an invasion of the United Republic to reclaim the region. Avatar Korra thwarted the invasion, and following the defeat of Kuvira’s Army, she worked with Prince Wu to dissolve the monarchy in favor of a democratic system.
Economy & Education
The Earth Federation’s economy, historically reliant on agriculture, has experienced unprecedented growth under President Bao-Jun’s rule. Technological advancements, heavy foreign investment, improved infrastructure, and centralized control over economic policy resulted in a manufacturing boom across the country. With government stability restored, farmlands could resume the cultivation of enormous quantities of grains and vegetables. The Earth Federation’s rich natural resources (mainly lumber, coal, ore, and oil) allowed for a rapid expansion of extraction, refinement, and manufacturing operations. Foreign governments, mainly the Water Tribes, have criticized the Earth Kingdom for manipulating oil prices and monopolizing the market. However, the Fire Nation in particular has come to rely heavily on cheap Earth Federation goods and its natural resources.
Public education in the Earth Federation is mandatory to an extent, but the quality and structure of schools vary dramatically from region to region. A nationally-mandated curriculum developed by the government serves as the foundation for all schools. In recent years the curriculum has increasingly emphasized social conformity and nationalism in an effort to unite all Earth Federation citizens under one patriotic identity. Ba Sing Se University is the oldest and most celebrated institution of higher learning in the world, and other colleges have sprung up in Zaofu, Omashu, and Gaoling.
In Genji’s Time
The Earth Federation has experienced a series of political upheavals over the past 30+ years. Following Kuvira’s attempted coup, Prince Wu of the Hou-Ting Dynasty and Avatar Korra established a new political system, splitting the nation into semi-independent states with democratically elected leaders, similar to the system used by United Republic of Nations. Unfortunately, the first round of elections was quickly hijacked by powerful corporations and the Ba Sing Se elite, resulting in a semi-functional democratic system plagued by corruption.
There are still extreme disparities in wealth and social status in the Earth Federation. As was historically so, wealth and resources tend to flow north towards the city of Ba Sing Se or toward coastal trading cities. Additionally, the Bao-Jun Administration has promoted the Ba Sing Se model of a strict social order and has capitalized on the disenfranchisement of minority groups like the sandbender tribes and Foggy Swamp Tribe. There is still very little social mobility in general, but some entrepreneurs and talented individuals are able to bridge the class divide.
Currently, President-General Bao Jun works to hold the increasingly fragmented Earth Federation together. His administration suffers from corruption, Red Lotus activity, and the emergence of dangerous revolutionary ideas among the lower class. Tensions between different regions have increased, particularly as the administration attempts to force a shared “Earth Federation identity” on its people. The forced relocation of sandbenders has sparked ethnic conflict and violent protests, inviting harsh criticism from world leaders and further destabilizing the international system.