The history of Earth and its colonies is generally sketchy in the Dead Space universe, although a number of historical events are referenced in the franchise that assist in the formation of a cohesive timeline of in-universe events.
- Main article: Bering Sea conflict
Although an exact approximation of events following the 21st century on Earth is impossible to establish due to the lack of exact time references in the Dead Space universe, crises of social and military order are known to have occurred decades or centuries before the extraction of the Red Marker from Aegis VII and the subsequent massacre on the USG Ishumura.
A conflict known as the "Battle of the Bering Sea" caught international attention on Earth some years before the events on Aegis VII, likely having been sparked by friction between the United States and the Russian Federation. During the conflict, a further event known as "Kara Sea Hostage Crisis" occurred when the crew members of an American freighter ventured deep inside the enemy-held Kara Sea and were captured by Russian forces, potentially as a result of open military and political conflicts that had pitted the United States and Russia against each other. The Kara Sea Hostage Crisis is regarded as the opening event in a Second Battle of the Bering Sea. However, the precise outcome of the Bering Sea conflict is not known.
- Main article: Global Warming Epidemic
In the midst of technological advancement and industrial modernization, environmental problems struck the polluted Earth mercilessly at some point in its post-21st-century history. A systematic, worldwide environmental emergency known as the "Global Warming Epidemic" materialized through consistent flooding of once quintessential cultural, national and economic hubs of activity (situated on the shores of oceans and seas) like New York City and Venice, leading to a massive surge of migration to inland cities and furthering pollution levels and resulting natural calamities.
In the early 23rd century, natural resources on Earth had nearly been depleted, and spacecraft were built to harvest resources off-world.
- Main article: Earth Government
As military conflicts and natural disasters combined with increasing societal imbalance took their toll on the population of Earth, it is likely that a worldwide political administration called for emergence in order to quell international instability. The Earth Government was formed some time during or before these emergencies. Among some of the political reforms it brought once in power is the structuring of Earth's continental groups and national territories into "Sectors". For instance, the American continent was divided into three sociopolitical groups―the United States, Central American, and South American Sectors―while more integral continents, like Africa, avoided the Earth Government's division and were preserved under a unitary sector, i.e. "African Sector".
- Scandinavian Sector
- United States Sector
- Central American Sector
- South American Sector
- North Asia Sector
- African Sector
- Southeast Asian Sector
- Pan European Sector
Problems caused by military conflicts and worldwide environment crises prompted the Earth Government, or independent national or multinational agencies in the initial phases of space expansion, to search for stable, inhabitable planets in the Solar System and outside. Possibly the first planet to be colonized was the Moon, followed by outer planets and satellites. In time, the colonies within Earth's Solar System appear to have adopted a more convenience-oriented and military role, hosting entertainment complexes and malls, as well as, inevitably, military strongholds of the Earth Defense Force.
Extra-solar colonies, on the other hand, represent the prime commercial area of activity for the planet cracking business and serve as an irreplaceable food basket for Earth and its nearby Solar companion planets. Commercial lanes are primarily used by the Concordance Extraction Corporation, which hires Merchant Marines and the E.D.F. Marine Corps to assist in assuring peaceful commerce.
Colonial prosperity appears to have been short-lived. Despite Earth's confidence in the abilities of its colonies to provide for it, resources in the colonies were not inexhaustible; as a result, the age-old vice of military conflict invaded colonial space through the widespread Resource Wars that occurred a few years before the events on the USG Ishimura. The conflict was fought between numerous governmental, independent, pirate and clandestine factions over what little amount of resources remained in the colonies. However, dwindling natural resources were replaced by the revolutionary technological breakthrough brought about by the process of planet cracking.
It was at this time that Mars took part in the pan-colonial war and became a seedbed for revolutionary secessionist ideology. The Mars riots, as they became known, were responsible for thousands of killed soldiers and rioters.
Another series of wars that might have occurred during the infamous Resource Wars are known as the Moon Wars, but they are only referenced vaguely in the book Dead Space: Martyr. This suggests that there was either a colony established on the Moon that participated in the fighting, or that they were wars over the resources of the Moon itself.