They were in utter disarray when we arrived. They were a primitive, fragmented people, bickering between themselves over land or some other resource, sometimes even fighting over differing abstract ideologies.
Their technologies were primitive as well. They relied primarily upon burning the decayed remains of their own dead as fuel for energy. Their alternative was an atom they had scarcely learned to control, and which most of them still feared.
They suffered from a myriad of diseases. Most of them were curable, if only these people knew how. Almost all of them were preventable. Yet not only did much of their population live with illness, many of them seemed to actually invite it in.
We had the ability to elevate them. To teach them our technology and our culture. We could have helped them crawl out of the mud and into the stars.
All they had to do was to allow us to live among them and for them to do as we instructed them.
In the end we only succeeded in unifying them as they drove us back into space.