Panem is a nation that was established during an unknown time period in a post-apocalyptic world. It is situated primarily on the western side of North America. It was run by a single-party totalitarian dictatorship that was led by President Snow before the second rebellion.
The name Panem derives from the Latin phrase panem et circenses, which literally translates into 'bread and circuses'. The phrase itself is used to describe entertainment used to distract public attention from more important matters. Furthermore, by the government providing ample food and entertainment, the citizens would give up their political rights.
Location and Geography
Panem is located in the remains of what was left of North America. Not much is known about the location of the District, although the Capitol is located around the Rocky Mountains and District 12 near Appalachia. Panem is known not to be as large as North America today, due to rising sea levels and other natural disasters that caused the land to erode.
An unspecified time before the current date, the face of the Earth changed and modern civilization was seemingly destroyed. It is unknown precisely what caused the "end of the world," but major landmasses changed shape as the sea level rose to unknown heights around the planet. Some time after the end of the world as we knew it, a nation was established in North America that would soon come to be known as Panem. It is unknown precisely when Panem was established and how long it has existed, though it is certain that Panem has been around for more than seventy-five years, and it's entirely possible for it to be at least a century or two old. Panem eventually grew large enough that it was segmented into thirteen separate districts, each responsible for producing goods of a particular industry to serve the growing needs of the nation, and all operating under the auspices of Panem's oppressive Capitol.
The Dark Days
The various districts of Panem rebelled against the Capitol, primarily due to the oppressive fashion in which the Capitol government ruled over the districts. It is unknown how long the rebellion lasted or the exact number of casualties on either side (although the Capitol claims that for every dead Capitol citizen, two rebels died), but by the end of the conflict, the Capitol had quelled the rebellion, defeating twelve of the districts and obliterating the thirteenth entirely.