Technologically advanced humanoid civilization. In the past, the Cardassians were a peaceful and spiritual people. But because their planet was resource-poor, starvation and disease were rampant, and people died by the millions. With the rise of the military to power, new territories and technology were acquired by violence, at the cost of millions of lives sacrificed to the war effort. In Cardassian society, the criminal justice system served to enforce cultural norms, while reassuring the public with the comforting notion that good did triumph over evil. Accordingly, no criminal was brought to trial until authorities had already found the defendant guilty. Trials were broadcast for viewing by the public, serving as a dramatic demonstration of the futility of violating society's norms. Under the Cardassian system of jurisprudence, a defendant could not present evidence until the trial was under way -- in other words, until after a verdict of guilty had already been rendered. Further, such defendants were required to testify against themselves. Cardassian citizens were required to have one of their molars extracted at age ten so that they could be kept on file by the Cardassian bureau of identification. In Cardassian culture, advanced age is viewed as a sign of power and dignity. Cardassian men and women sometimes exhibit overt irritability toward each other as an overture to a sexual relationship. Family is very important to the Cardassians, with some households being multi-generational. Intense mind-training programs are given to their children as early as four years of age, perhaps contributing to the famous Cardassian photographic memories. Cardassian funeral rites are very strict. They considered it a dishonor to the deceased if a non-Cardassian views the remains. Cardassians dislike cold temperatures. It is traditional in Cardassian culture that the commanding officer of a ship should entertain guests when they travel aboard his or her ship. It was also traditional for a freighter captain to take a percentage of the cargo's worth for himself. A favorite morning beverage of Cardassians is hot fish juice. The Cardassians were involved in a bitter, extended conflict with the United Federation of Planets. An uneasy truce between the two adversaries was finally reached in 2366. During the negotiations, Ambassador Spock publicly disagreed with his father, Ambassador Sarek, on the treaty. The following year, the treaty was violated by Starfleet Captain Benjamin Maxwell, commanding the Starship Phoenix. Although Maxwell's actions were illegal, Starfleet authorities believed his suspicions of illicit Cardassian military activity were correct. Captain Picard recalled that while in command of the U.S.S. Stargazer in 2355, he had fled from a Cardassian warship, barely escaping with his ship and crew intact. In 2367, a historic peace treaty established a fragile armistice between the Federation and the Cardassian Union. Starfleet Captain Edward Jellico was partially credited for the negotiations. Among other things, the treaty provided that captives of either government would be allowed to see a representative from a neutral planet following their incarceration. The Cardassians annexed planet Bajor around 2328, and over the next several decades systematically stripped the planet of resources and forced most Bajorans to resettle on other worlds. During the occupation, the Cardassians arrested any Bajorans that were caught teaching the word of the Prophets. They were imprisoned and often received repeated beatings for their beliefs. In 2369, it was believed that Cardassia was developing a metagenic weapon and planning to use it in conjunction with an incursion into Federation space. Enterprise-D Captain Jean-Luc Picard, along with Chief Medical Officer Beverly Crusher and Security Officer Worf, was sent covertly into Cardassian space to investigate. The reports were found to be a ruse, designed to lure Captain Picard into Cardassian captivity. Also in 2369, the Bajoran resistance movement had forced the Cardassians from Bajor after years of terrorist activity. In their retreat, they abandoned Terok Nor, an old Cardassian mining station orbiting Bajor. This proved to be a major mis-step for the Cardassians, as the station became of major strategic, scientific, and commercial value when the Bajoran wormhole was discovered shortly thereafter. Many Cardassian war orphans were left behind on planet Bajor when the occupation ended. In Cardassian society, orphans are shunned and not acknowledged by the populace. The Cardassian withdrawal included an agreement to release all Bajoran political prisoners, per Supreme Directive 2645, although some prisoners remained at the Hutet labor camp on Cardassia IV for nearly a year. In 2371, the Cardassian government, represented by Legate Turrel, concluded a historic peace treaty with Bajoran leader Kai Winn. In 2372, a civilian uprising overthrew the Cardassian Central Command, placing power into the hands of the Detapa Council. Suspecting that the Council had been replaced by shape-shifting agents of the Dominion, the Klingon Empire subsequently invaded Cardassia Prime, and was nearly successful in eliminating the Detapa Council. Gul Dukat helped the Council flee the Klingon invasion fleet by evacuating them aboard the Prakesh. Dukat, with assistance from Starfleet personnel, was able to ascertain that the Council had not been replaced by the Founders. The Klingon invasion destroyed the industrial capability of dozens of Cardassian worlds, devastating the Cardassian economy. The Federation Council, eager to maintain ties to the Cardassians, agreed to provide twelve industrial replicators to the Cardassian government. The replicators were hijacked by members of the Maquis led by Lieutenant Commander Eddington. Humiliated by its dealings with the Federation and stung by the Klingon attack, the Cardassian government entered into an alliance with the Dominion in 2373. The pact had been secretly negotiated by Gul Dukat, who thereafter assumed leadership of the Cardassian Union. Dukat promised to return the Cardassians to their former glory. (In one of the quantum realities visited by Worf in 2370, the Cardassians tampered with the Argus Array, using it to spy on Federation facilities. In yet another, the Cardassians and the Federation had reached some degree of rapprochement, as evidenced by the Cardassian conn officer found in this universe.) Cardassia Homeworld of the Cardassian Union, the planet is also referred to as Cardassia Prime. Cardassia is a planet poor in natural resources, but in ancient times was home to a splendid civilization whose legendary ruins are still considered some of the most remarkable in the galaxy. Most of the archaeological treasures were plundered by starving Cardassians, as well as by the Cardassian military, which sought funds for their war against the Federation. Cardassia was believed to have been visited some 800 years ago by ancient Bajoran explorers. Until recently, Cardassian scholars scoffed at such theories, but in 2371, Cardassian archaeologists reported finding wreckage of an ancient Bajoran solar-sail vessel on Cardassia.