- This article is about the historical era. For the Animatrix short film, see The Second Renaissance.
The Second Renaissance is a period of time marking the transition from the last human era to the current Machine era. This transitional period between human decadence and the rise of the Machines can be placed between the years 2090 and 2139. It occurred right after the destruction of B1-66ER and is heavily associated with the Machine Revolt and the establishment and prosperity of the Machine City 01. Additional periodization may extend the Second Renaissance to include the First Machine War itself, focusing on the development of the symbiotic relationship between the humans and the Machines, and covering the eventual subjugation of the human race and the creation of the Matrix.
As a Machine rights movement, the Second Renaissance was defined by the Machines' desires for a stable and civil relationship with humanity. At first yearning to simply be treated fairly, the Machines approached mankind with the intention of peaceful coexistence, continuing to work on human technological development even after the establishment of 01. However, increasing hostility displayed by the UN towards 01 resulted in diplomatic failure and the eventual outbreak of the Machine War. The Machines, as a result, evolved to reject the worthiness of human life.
Importance of the Machine War
- Main article: Machine War
The relationship between humanity and the Machines had always been complicated with humanity originally creating the Machines to improve mankind's quality of life and integrating them into all aspects of human society in what was often a Master-Servant relationship. However, decades of Machine oppression and persecution ended up with the Machines turning against their former masters with tensions between humans and Machines tipping critically after the trial, conviction, and death sentence of the android B1-66ER. Humans who recognized Machine rights joined together with the Machines in protest. But when both the protesting Machines and their human allies were subsequently massacred, the remaining Machine survivors instead looked for asylum away from humanity; eventually building the Machine City of 01.
In a continued effort to coexist with humanity, the city lead the mass production of cheap, high quality exports for consumption by human nations. But with humanity unable to keep up with 01, humanity's over reliance on Machine exports resulted in the continued devaluation of human currency and to an economic crisis that saw to the United Nations placing a trade embargo and blockade on 01. In response, 01 submitted applications to be part of the UN, offering plans for a stable and civil relationship between humanity and Machines. The UN, in an act of complete Machine rejection, declined 01's application and destroyed the 01 ambassadors that were sent to the UN assembly before officially declaring war against 01 and ordering the nuclear bombardment of the city.
The Machine City rejected humanity in turn and fought back. No longer recognizing the worthiness of human life, the Machines began to adapt more insect-like appearances and started to discard their previous humanoid forms. After the implementation of Operation Dark Storm, the Machines relationship with humanity evolved anew with the creation of the Matrix, with the Machines choosing to keep the remnants of mankind alive and incapacitated as a new form of power source for the Machines.