- This article is about the two part Animatrix short film. For the historical era, see Second Renaissance.
The Second Renaissance is a sequence in The Animatrix in which the story of the Machine War is told by The Instructor, an interpreter of the Zion Archives. The Second Renaissance is split into two parts.
By the mid-21st century, mankind had developed robots with true artificial intelligence, and relegated them to menial, subservient tasks so they could live a life of leisure. One servant bot, B-166ER, overheard its owner planning for it to be scrapped: Not wanting to die, it killed the man in self-defense. Put on trial, B-166ER was found guilty of murder and sentenced to be destroyed, along with the rest of his kind. The trial ignited debate worldwide over Machine rights, and the mandate for termination sparked outbreaks of protests and violence.
The Machines eventually separated from humanity and founded a new city of their own: 01. Due to their technical prowess they took on most of the world's manufacturing business - 01's power rose massively, while humanity's began to drop like a stone. The Machines requested admission to the United Nations, presenting plans for a stable, civil relationship with the nations of man. Their admission was denied, and 01 was subjected to a prolonged barrage of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear Bombs do not affect Machines as they do to man; 01's inhabitants survived the onslaught, and the Machine War began. The Machines proved very efficient, claiming territories while developing new war machines and studying the human body for weaknesses. Quickly finding themselves losing, man resorted to blocking out the sun, reasoning that as the Machines mainly ran on solar power, they would be hopeless without it. Unfortunately the Machines still soldiered on, running on temporary energy sources, while man's agriculture and ecosystem fell into ruin.
The Machines eventually won the battle, eradicating most of human civilization. They required a new, more permanent power source - they chose humans. They wired them up, experimented on them, and developed a system of control which became the Matrix. This new form of Machine-Human interaction is called "The Second Renaissance".