Panem is the country which sits on what was once North America after one thousand years of apocalyptic events reshaped the planet. It is the largest and most powerful of the twenty-three countries left on the planet, and it has maintained that position zealously over the three hundred years since its founding.
Panem is a totalitarian state ruled by the Capitol, which controls both its military and government. Around the Capitol are the thirteen districts which provide many of the resources which are necessary for the running of the nation.
The Dark Days
Eighty-nine years before the start of the Survival Games series, the thirteen districts rebelled against the Capitol. For fifteen years, the Capitol was at war with the districts. One by one, each of the districts surrendered to the Capitol until only District 13 remained opposed. District 13 attempted to arm nuclear bombs at the Capitol.
The then President, Lydia Davis, ordered a preemptive strike and obliterated the district. No one survived. As punishment, President Davis instituted the Hunger Games as a reminder of the rebellion and a warning to never rebel again.