Constructs are almost all mindless clockwork automatons, created to be servants or soldiers for New Crobuzon's population. Through unpredictable errors accumulating in their programming, however, a rare few gained sentience - and became the Construct Council, which then worked to swell its numbers but infecting more and more constructs with its AI-like programming.

When Parliament finally discovered the existence and severity of the problem, the Construct Wars were initiated, wiping out the construct population, apart from a very small number of servants for well-connected people, and an unknown number of soldier-constructs stored by Parliament and later used to assist in the Collective's defeat. (Since the Construct Wars, assuredly mindless golems have filled the abandoned niche left behind by the constructs' eradication.)

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