Humans are a sentient species of bipedal mammals, native to planet Earth and the Sol system. Since the discovery of faster than light hyperspace travel, humans have rapidly expanded beyond Sol. They primarily populate a region of the galaxy known as The Bubble and have colonized all sorts of planets from airless to atmospheric worlds. Many stations were constructed so that humans can live, produce, trade goods and services in space. Humans engage many different activities such as trading and exploration.
Humans have a robust physiology. They are bipedal mammals and generally strong, fast and agile. They reach physical maturity at around 18 years old. Then they enter the workforce or continue their education for a profession. The average human lifespan is naturally about 79 years, but advanced biotechnology and cybernetics has substantially increased human lifespans.
Since the late 20th century there's been increased mixing of different human ethnicities. This resulted in certain recessive physical traits becoming rare such as blue and green eyes as well as blonde and red hair.
The Empire supports and uses human cloning extensively. Other factions find it abhorrent and have banned it within their own jurisdictions. The Federation prefers mechanical artificial intelligence.
The human species (Homo sapiens) evolved from apelike ancestor over the course of 6 million years BC (Before Christ). Scientific evidence shows that humans and the great apes have a common ancestor that existed 8 to 6 million years BC. Earth's African continent is where much of human evolution occurred. 6 to 2 million years BC old fossils originate only from Africa.
A defining human trait to walk on two legs (bipedalism) evolved 4 million years BC. Other human characteristics like a complex brain, using tools and language developed much later. Advanced human traits such as art, cultural diversity and symbolic expression evolved during the last 100,000 years BC.
During much of human history people lived traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyles. The invention of agriculture in 12,000 BC allowed people to live in permanent settlements which became cities and civilizations. Food could be produced to meet consumer demand so Earth's population grew from 5 million people in 8,000 BC to over 7 billion in the 21st century. As agriculture secured people's primary needs for food, people had more time to work on other things like science, trade, technology, art and innovation.
The demand of individuals and business to trade easily lead to innovations in commerce and finance. In 9000 BC people bartered goods they had in surplus for things they lacked. Such as bartering cattle, sheep, vegetables and grain. The first known currency was created by King Alyattes in Lydia, which later became Turkey, in 600 BC. The first coin ever minted had a roaring lion. Coins evolved into bank notes around 1661 AD. The advantages of paper money was that it could be mass produced without relying on raw materials like gold and silver, but its value is more unstable than precious metals. The first credit card was introduced in 1946. The first decentralized digital currency Bitcoin was invented in 2009 and wireless payments gained popularity. The invention of money and commerce has been essential to developing trade networks, fostering cooperation and understanding between different cultures and peoples across the world. Entrepreneurship and innovation lead to the industrial revolution in 1760 AD and the Digital Revolution in 1970 AD with inventions like digital electronics. Commerce brought people and countries together through mutual cooperation, division of labour and trade.
Colonialism and Imperialism
In the 16th century to the mid-20th century several European maritime powers used their technological and military advantages to establish colonies and claim vast territories in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. European culture and technology spread throughout the less developed world. During the 19th and early 20th century most of Earth's landmass was controlled by European powers.
World War I (28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918) was the first global war which originated in Europe. World War II was the second global war (1939 to 1945) with two opposing military alliances comprising the majority of Earth's countries (Allies and Axis). The different ideologies and regimes from classical liberalism to national socialism, fascism to communism clashed in a very destructive war which killed tens of millions of innocent lives. The Allies lead by the United States of America and the United Kingdom decisively won the Second World War. The end of WWII resulted in the defeat of national socialist Germany, fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. The remaining European colonies gained independence a few years later. The Soviet Union's communist regime dissolved by January of 1992 which freed many countries.
History in Elite
The history and lore of Elite Dangerous is a continuation of real-life modern history. Elite Dangerous takes place 1286 years in the future. In-game time moves at the same speed as real-life.
World War III (2044-2055 AD) was the worst war ever waged across planet Earth. It brought much destruction and loss of life. Eventually after over one decade of war the fight was gradually abandoned. The dominant power after the Third World War was the United States of the Americas. The remaining other countries joined it over the next few decades and it was renamed to "The Federation." Civilization had taken a massive hit and the governments and military alone no longer had the ability to repair the damage done. The corporations of the era stepped in and began the slow rebuild process. This gained the corporations a huge increase in dominance over Earth's political landscape. In many ways this was perhaps the birth of the ideologies that would ultimately influence the Federation. The decade of 2070 saw the first man on Mars and the first permanent moon base was constructed. This allowed humans far easier access to space and soon many orbital cities were constructed around Earth. This was followed by the launch of interstellar probes, the heavy industrialization of the Moon and the first base construction on Mars.
The 22nd century was a time of massive change. Fossils were discovered on Mars proving that life once existed there. Human expansion slowly progressed throughout the solar system. Perhaps the biggest discovery of all time was hyperspace. The ability to travel faster than light allowed humanity to escape the confines of the solar system. It was discovered in the early 22nd Century, but only since 2800s could consumer ships take advantage of it. Hyperspace travel and spaceships became affordable for middle-class people like cars in the 20th century.
In 2210 the first signals of probes at Alpha Centauri confirmed a habitable planet existing outside our solar system. From this point on, probes continued to arrive in neighboring star systems and soon life is discovered on Tau Ceti 3. Thus begins a new path of exploration and discovery. With the knowledge that Tau Ceti could support life, a colony ship was sent there. Before long the first colony to exist outside our star system Sol was formed. With the proof that life could exist outside Earth, a mass exodus began. Massive ships were constructed to establish human colonies anywhere that may support human life. The expansion of humanity rapidly moved apace crossing the void between star systems. New colonies and ultimately cities were formed. The Federation is dominated by corporations. They control many aspects of life, politics and business within Federation space. Most aspects of life is focused on profit. Whilst corporations are not above the law, they hold a very wide remit as far as what they're permitted to do in the name of profit concerns. Corruption is the norm rather than the exception. That said, the Federation does respect human life in its own way and much more so than the Empire. Although the Federation doesn't respect freedom as much as the Alliance. 
The colossal requirements of modern interstellar economies can only be met by super-rich and super-powerful corporations, whose innumerable companies gouge entire worlds for minerals and foods, and whose factories churn out the basic goods trillions of people need to survive. Without them and their continual drive for ever higher growth, people would starve, choke or become isolated on worlds surrounded by technology they cannot use or maintain.
The official Elite: Dangerous Role Playing Game has in-depth lore about the universe of Elite: Dangerous. Here's a summary:
Cheap and faster than light travel has enabled humanity to expand across the stars. This led to the rise of the Federation, Empire and Alliance. These major factions attract powerful people who scheme to gain more power.
The middle-classes of the galaxy can afford spaceships like cars in the 20th century. People who own spaceships gain tremendous freedom. They're encouraged to do all kinds of jobs such as delivering goods and supplies to stations. For people in the bottom of society, little has changed. Space trade is seldom hampered by politics. The planet-spanning mega corporations employ entire nations and rule unchecked over vast sections of the galaxy. There's a laissez faire attitude towards weapon ownership and people are inclined to shoot first. The general lawlessness of space, navigational hazards and fierce creatures on planets make it a dangerous place.
Humans primarily reside in a colonized region colloquially known as "the Bubble", which contains about 19,000 star systems. They originated from the single-star system Sol and the terrestrial planet Earthin the Orion-Cygnus Arm of the Milky Way. Humans have created more bubbles in deep space such as Colonia.
As it has been throughout recorded history, mankind is not very prone to agreement over ethical, political, religious, and economic views. It remains this way today in the 34th Century, with the realm of human-colonized space held by numerous groups under various ideals, some benevolent and others not quite as much.
There are three major factions known as galactic superpowers and several Powers in human-colonized space. The Federation is based in Sol and is a representative-electing democracy. The Empire is based from the system of Achenar and is a hereditary monarchy. The Alliance is based from the system of Alioth and is a confederation of independent systems working cooperatively. Powers are powerful individuals or organizations who strive to control inhabited space for their own agendas in Powerplay. Each Power can control a vast amount of systems that is aligned to both major and minor factions. In addition to the three galactic superpowers and the powers, there are also many minor factions. The faction with the highest influence within the system will usually be the controlling faction of that system. System control falls on the faction that owns the controlling station. The government of a system is ruled by a controlling faction and if that faction is an anarchy no laws will apply in the system.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Introduction to Human Evolution - Smithsonian
- ↑ The Development of Agriculture - National Geographic
- ↑ The history of money: from barter to bitcoin - Telegraph.co.uk
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonialism
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II
- ↑ Elite: Dangerous - Epic History of The Federation
- ↑ Tourist Spot 0165 beacon near Earth
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Elite: Dangerous - Epic History of The Federation
- ↑ Galnet News - Galactic News: Hyperspace, Jan 07 3303
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Elite Dangerous Role Playing Game - Kickstarter
- ↑ Elite Dangerous Role Playing Game, Corporate Guide book