The system originally known as H4 was heavily fought over by the Bugs and Tech Infantry for over two decades, starting with the first Tech Infanty assault landings in 2010. By 2035, the planet was finally cleared of Bug infestations. It was subsequently colonized largely by settlers from Iberia and Latin America, with a minority of colonists coming from elsewhere on Earth and other settled systems. The system was re-named New Madrid in honor of the Ibero-American character of the settlers, by the consortium of corporations and governments from those regions sponsoring the colony.
New Madrid fell to the Tech Infantry Rebel faction early in the 3rd Civil War, and it became the focus of a major effort to recapture it by the Grand Council Loyalists. It was the site of a raid by a destroyer squadron under the command of Commodore J.J. Adams which damaged the planetary defense battlestations and destroyed the docked Star Control Ship EFS Jutland, which had been captured by the TI Rebels. Shortly thereafter, Task Force 23 invaded the system, and successfully captured it after heavy and prolonged ground fighting. The Council Loyalist forces were forced to begin destroying crops and food storage facilities in an effort to starve out the Rebel forces, before the final push on Talavera could succeed.
During the Vin Shriak Holy War, New Madrid was far enough from the front lines to be spared the worst effects of the war, and was thankfully not in the path of the Caal Invasion. Consequently, New Madrid became a destination of many refugees fleeing those conflicts. After the Battle of Avalon stopped the Caal Invasion, Earth Fleet ships that had failed or refused to answer the call for reinforcements at the capital Avalon gathered at New Madrid and declared their loyalty to a newly-reconstructed Grand Council under the leadership of Admiral Smythe, and their opposition to the new Holy Terran Empire under Emperor Vin Dane. Talavera became the capital of the new Earth Federation. After Smythe's assassination and death, the system was absorbed by the Empire in a nearly bloodless invasion, with the new government under Herbert Gergenstein (who had abetted this peaceful conquest) being granted fiefdom over the system in gratitude.
Despite the dismantling on the jumpgate network after the Ascension War, New Madrid managed to keep a jumpgate and commercial hyperspace lane open to Minos. As a result, New Madrid has suffered much less ecnomically than most other systems. Although House Vendo lobbied the Imperial Diet hard to be the second system connecting the Western and Eastern halves of the Empire by redirecting their decommissioned New Madrid-Rios hyperspace beacon to the Phoenix system, the Miranda system was selected instead, a move many in the Imperial Court interpreted as a deliberate snub to House Vendo.
In addition to English, Spanish is still frequently heard there as a second language, with Portuguese and Guarani occasionally spoken in some of the more rural districts populated mainly by direct descendents of the original colonists to settle that area. As one of the older and more well-terraformed systems in human space, it has a large and mostly prosperous population numbering 1.7 billion people. Despite having a large number of Federation loyalists stranded there after the Ascension War, House Vendo has kept a lid on things, and unrest and resistance to Imperial rule has been minimal.
Major continental landmasses are mostly named for historical regions of Spain on Earth, with major cities mostly named for cities in Iberia and Latin America. Nuevo Barcelona on the continent of Catalonia is the largest, and is the planetary capital. A narrow isthmus between two of the continents is of course called New Panama, and is home to a large canal dug via nuclear demolition charges in the early days of colonization to be a magnet for future settlement. It didn't quite work, and the canal gets little shipping traffic, but the city of Talavera, second largest on the planet, is there nonetheless, and the canal used to attract many tourists as one of the largest such structures in human space.
Behind the ScenesEdit
New Madrid was named for the New Madrid Fault in southern Missouri, which produced some of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history in the early 1800's. Mostly quiet since then, the fault is still occasionally featured in apocalyptic predictions of doom for the Midwest. One such scare had recently been in the news when the first season of the game was being played, so the name was fresh on the minds of the midwestern residents playing the game at Illinois State University, only a couple hundred miles from the fault line in question. Much of the backstory for New Madrid was not established until Season Eight, when it was the home of Icarus Hicks and the beginning of his plotline.