The Union was originally forged by the poverty of the Cardassian home world. Lack of resources forced the Cardassians to expand. This way, an aggresssive, militaristic colonial power emerged. After the devastation of the Dominion War the Union is reverting to a more liberal and civil society.
 Ancient history
- Cardassia loses a number of its sacred jevonite artifacts.
 The 24th century
- Bajor was occupied and oppressed for decades until the Cardassian Union withdrew. During the Occupation, the station later known as Deep Space 9 was constructed in the orbit of Bajor. Gul Skrain Dukat served as prefect and commander of Terok Nor during that time.
 Dominion War (2373-2375)
- The Cardassian Union joined the Dominion to conquer the Alpha Quadrant and suffered greatly while the Federation Alliance eventually achieved victory. Another major member of the Dominion was the Breen Confederacy.
 Post-War crises and reconstruction efforts (2379-2385)
- Following the Dominion War, Cardassia Prime plunges into an economic crisis. (2379/2380)
- The Cardassians refuse to extradite members of their government and military to stand trial for war crimes committed during the Dominion War and the occupation of Bajor. (2381)
- In 2382, 472 Cardassians from the Bajor coalition's war crimes list disappear from Cardassia Prime within four months.
- In the following year, Cardassia Prime is swept by in resurgence supporting religion and spirituality.
- Although the Federation Council and the Union support leaving the established borders of the Federation-Cardassian Treaty of 2370, the Bajor coalition demands the Cardassians to surrender colonies granted to them in the treaty. (2385)
- Meanwhile on Cardassia, the U.S.S. Pasteur supports the reconstruction of medical facilities and hospitals.
 Path of redemption and democratization (2386-2392)
- A new treaty between the Union and the Federation is signed: While the Cardassians agree neither to field a military nor to wage war, Starfleet is assigned to protect Cardassian space if an invasion should happen. In response to the agreement, the requests for prosecution of Cardassians for war crimes is dropped by Bajor. (2386)
- The military is reformed into the smaller Cardassian Self-Defence Force, or CDF, the following year. In addition, the CDF's operations are restricted to Cardassian space.
- A token force consisting of six ships is sent by the provisional Detapa Council to aid Romulan relief efforts following the destruction of Romulus. Concerned with the conservation of Cardassia's remaining resources, popular opinion is against this decision. (2388)
- Elections on Cardassia are supervised by the Federation. The civilian coalition led by Elim Garak narrowly defeats the hardliner faction under Gul Madred, who demand the withdrawal from the latest Federation-Cardassian Treaty and the resurrection of the military. (2389)
- Later the same year, Madred aquires rights, allowing him to mine several mineral-rich planetoids in Cardassian space. He has a large mining oeration built on Septimus
- In 2390, Garak and the Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance, Rom, sign several contracts. The Alliance returns sacred evonite artifacts and invests into the restart of Cardassian industrial complexes. The Ferengi receive favorable trade agreements for goods of the rebuild industry in exhcange.
- A series of reforms is signed by the Detapa Council to promote economic stabilty and a growth of population. In addition, thousands of displaced military officers are folded into civilian industries. (2392)
 Stabilization and birth of the True Way (2392-2402)
- A significant minority of the former officers join the mining operations on Septimus.
- At the same time, the Union begins to export large amounts of uridium and kelindide via Ferengi brokers. One of the first major clients are the Romulans.
- Natima Lang, one of the prominet political figures of the Union, negotiates with the Remans in order to get warp drives and additional dilithium for Cardassian ships.
- In addition, the Union begins to sell Cardassian technology across the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.
- Gul Madred claims that the CDF cannot protect his mining operations and contracts Alpha Jem'Hadar for security.
- 75 warships and and undetermined amount of weapons known to have survived the Dominion War are reported missing by an audit authorized by the Detapa Council.
- Relations with Bajor are officially normalized in 2400 and an embassy is opened on Deep Space 9.
- Natima Lang becomes the leader of the Detapa Council and the Cardassian Union in 2401.
- In the same year, the Cardassian Science Ministry announces the development of a cure for the Pottrik syndrome.
- Cardassian Intelligence informs Lang that Madred's forces possess some of the missing ships. (2402)
 War of the True Way Alliance (2409)
- The revived True Way, led by Gul Madred, enters open warfare with the Federation and begin to harass fellow Cardassian citizens. They employ Cardassian as well as Jem'Hadar ships. (2409)
- Later the same year, Starfleet manages to capture Gul Madred, leaving the leadership of the rebellion in disarray. (“The Long Night”)
- Following that, high-ranking officers, such as the commander of the Axon, take action to prove themselves worthy leaders. A such, the True Way enters the Neutral Zone and interferes with the Federation-Klingon War. (“Skirmish”)
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