The Wormhole wrote:
Yes, but how many of these members are actually former human colonies?
The number 155 refers to member species, not worlds.
The exact quote is :
In general is should be member = species. But former colonies (mainly human ones) can become members. As several, that we know of, did: Mars, Centauri, Terra Nova, Cestus ...
To be specific, in those novels, Federation Membership refers to polity
, not to planets -- which are units of geology, not governance -- or to species -- which is a matter of demographics.
In other words -- Humans
are not necessarily Federation Members, as there are Humans who are not born Federation citizens and who live on non-Federation worlds. Rather, the polity known as United Earth
is a Federation Member, and Earth is United Earth's capital planet. But United Earth's territory also includes other planets and habitats, including Luna. Thus, though United Earth is often informally referred to as "Earth," the planet itself is not a Member, but rather is the principle territory of a Member. (To make a comparison, it's sort of like how the Big Island of Hawai'i
is not a state, but it is the principle territory of the State of Hawaii, and the State of Hawaii is often called "Hawaii" informally after it.)
Furthermore, not all citizens of United Earth are Human -- many United Earth citizens are from numerous other species who have communities on Earth. And not all Humans are United Earth citizens -- several former Earth colonies have since become independent of United Earth and joined as separate Member polities themselves, such as Deneva. And not all planets in the Sol system are part of United Earth, either -- the Confederated Martian Colonies became an independent state before the founding of the Federation, and later joined as a separate Federation Member. And not all Martians are Human, either -- Mars has had a longstanding Tellarite community, and was represented on the Federation Council in the TOS era by a Tellarite Martian in the novel DTI: Forgotten History
. Populations intermingle.
Obviously, the canon has never gotten this explicit about the distinction between a polity
and the planetary territory
it inhabits -- just like most people don't get that specific in everyday language about the difference between a state and the territory the state inhabits -- but I can't imagine that Federation Membership could be based on anything else. You can't base it on species, after all (any more than you could base citizenship today on skin color), and you can't base it on pure geography any more than you could today (what with planets not having political opinions, only the people on them), and since most of the constituent polities of the UFP would already encompass more than one planet (in the same way that, the State of New York encompasses both the inland upstate area and Long Island).