United Federation of Planets

United Federation of Planets

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The United Federation of Planets, also known as "The Federation" is a fictional interplanetary federal republic depicted in the Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

television series and motion pictures. In those episodes and films, the Federation is described as an interstellar
Star system
A star system or stellar system is a small number of stars which orbit each other, bound by gravitational attraction. A large number of stars bound by gravitation is generally called a star cluster or galaxy, although, broadly speaking, they are also star systems.-Binary star systems:A stellar...

 federal
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 polity
Polity
Polity is a form of government Aristotle developed in his search for a government that could be most easily incorporated and used by the largest amount of people groups, or states...

 with, as of the year 2373, more than 150 member planet
Planet
A planet is a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals.The term planet is ancient, with ties to history, science,...

s and thousands of colonies
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 spread across 8,000 light years of the Milky Way Galaxy, and taking the form of a post-capitalist
Post-capitalism
Post-capitalism refers to any hypothetical future economic system that is to supersede capitalism as the dominant form of economic organization.-Post-capitalist systems:There have been a number of proposals for a new economic system to replace capitalism...

 liberal democracy
Liberal democracy
Liberal democracy, also known as constitutional democracy, is a common form of representative democracy. According to the principles of liberal democracy, elections should be free and fair, and the political process should be competitive...

 and constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

al republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

. It has also been described as a utopian socialist
Utopian socialism
Utopian socialism is a term used to define the first currents of modern socialist thought as exemplified by the work of Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, and Robert Owen which inspired Karl Marx and other early socialists and were looked on favorably...

 society. The Federation is described as stressing, at least nominally, the values of universal liberty, equality, justice, peace, and cooperation. The Federation also maintains its own military and exploratory agency, known as Starfleet
Starfleet
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, Starfleet or the Federation Starfleet is the deep-space exploratory, peacekeeping and military service maintained by the United Federation of Planets . It is the principal means by which the Federation conducts its exploration, defense, diplomacy and research...

 (also written as "Star Fleet" in some texts).

The legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 of the Federation Council
Federation Council (Star Trek)
The Federation Council is an organization in the fictional Star Trek universe. It is the legislature of the United Federation of Planets and will be located in what is now the Presidio of San Francisco, United States on Earth...

 is located at the Presidio of San Francisco
Presidio of San Francisco
The Presidio of San Francisco is a park on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area...

. Several other bodies of the Federation have been depicted. There is an executive branch
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 headed by a Federation President, who keeps offices in the Palais de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde
The Place de la Concorde in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's eighth arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées.- History :...

 in Paris. There is a judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 branch as well, the highest court of which is the Federation Supreme Court. The Federation's scientific, diplomatic and defensive/military arm is Starfleet, depicted as being headquartered at Fort Baker
Fort Baker
Fort Baker is one of the components of California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Fort, which borders the City of Sausalito in Marin County and is connected to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge, served as an Army post until the mid-1990s, when the headquarters of the 91st Division...

, just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, the structure links the city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to...

. The Federation comes into military conflict with other major powers in the galaxy such as the Klingon Empire
Klingon
Klingons are a fictional warrior race in the Star Trek universe.Klingons are recurring villains in the 1960s television show Star Trek: The Original Series, and have appeared in all five spin-off series and eight feature films...

, the Romulan Star Empire
Romulan
The Romulans are a fictional alien race in the Star Trek universe. First appearing in the original Star Trek series in the 1966 episode "Balance of Terror", they have since made appearances in all the main later Star Trek series: The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager...

, the Cardassian Union
Cardassian
The Cardassians are an extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek science fiction franchise. First introduced in the 1991 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Wounded", the species originating on the fictional Alpha Quadrant planet Cardassia Prime...

, the Borg
Borg (Star Trek)
The Borg are a fictional pseudo-race of cybernetic organisms depicted in the Star Trek universe associated with Star Trek.Whereas cybernetics are used by other races in the science fiction world to repair bodily damage and birth defects, the Borg use enforced cybernetic enhancement as a means of...

, and the Dominion
Dominion (Star Trek)
In the Star Trek universe, the Dominion is a ruthless and militaristic Gamma Quadrant state consisting of many different races. The Dominion wages war on the United Federation of Planets and its allies in the late 24th century, acting as an antagonist in the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space...

.

The United Federation of Planets has existed as part of the Star Trek universe since the first season of the original series
Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry, produced by Desilu Productions . Star Trek was telecast on NBC from September 8, 1966, through June 3, 1969...

, and is the primary focus of all the Star Trek series, with the exception of Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction television series. It follows the adventures of humanity's first warp 5 starship, the Enterprise, ten years before the United Federation of Planets shown in previous Star Trek series was formed.Enterprise premiered on September 26, 2001...

,
which is set before the Federation comes into existence.

Conception



The first mention of the United Federation of Planets was in the 1967 episode "A Taste of Armageddon", although other vague references such as just "The Federation" or to the "United Earth Space Probe Agency" were used in prior episodes. As part of the anti-war message he wanted the show to convey, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry
Gene Roddenberry
Eugene Wesley "Gene" Roddenberry was an American television screenwriter, producer and futurist, best known for creating the American science fiction series Star Trek. Born in El Paso, Texas, Roddenberry grew up in Los Angeles, California where his father worked as a police officer...

 intended to depict the Federation as if it was like an ideal, optimistic version of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. In several following episodes of the original series that were intended as allegories to the then-current Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 tensions, the Federation took on the role resembling the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 while the Klingon
Klingon
Klingons are a fictional warrior race in the Star Trek universe.Klingons are recurring villains in the 1960s television show Star Trek: The Original Series, and have appeared in all five spin-off series and eight feature films...

s represented the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

Depiction


In the series Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction television series. It follows the adventures of humanity's first warp 5 starship, the Enterprise, ten years before the United Federation of Planets shown in previous Star Trek series was formed.Enterprise premiered on September 26, 2001...

,
Earth Minister Nathan Samuels advocated the Coalition of Planets and invited other alien species, initially the Vulcans
Vulcan (Star Trek)
Vulcans, or sometimes Vulcanians, are an extraterrestrial humanoid species in the Star Trek universe who evolved on the planet Vulcan, and are noted for their attempt to live by reason and logic with no interference from emotion. They were the first extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek...

, Andorian
Andorian
Andorians are a fictional race of humanoid extraterrestrials created by D. C. Fontana for the Star Trek universe. They are native to the icy M-class moon Andoria , which orbits a blue, ringed gas giant. Definitive traits include their blue skin, a pair of cranial antennae, and white hair...

s and Tellarite
Tellarite
Tellarites are a fictional species from the planet Tellar from the Star Trek television show.Though not used in a great number of episodes, they are one of the founding races of the show's United Federation of Planets, to which Earth belongs....

s, to become a part of this. The formation of the Coalition seems to have been the event that provoked the xenophobic Terra Prime incident in the episodes "Demons" and "Terra Prime." After Terra Prime leader John Frederick Paxton exploited the xenophobia on Earth, many of the aliens were unnerved and nearly abandoned the idea of a coalition. However, they were convinced by a speech from Captain Jonathan Archer
Jonathan Archer
Jonathan Archer is a fictional character in the Star Trek franchise. He is the protagonist of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise, where he is played by Scott Bakula...

 to give the idea of a united organization of worlds a chance. Six years later in 2161, the United Federation of Planets was organized.

The Federation is founded under a document known as the Charter of the United Federation of Planets October 9, 2161, which is occasionally referred to informally as the "Constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

." It draws text and inspiration from the United Nations Charter
United Nations Charter
The Charter of the United Nations is the foundational treaty of the international organization called the United Nations. It was signed at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco, United States, on 26 June 1945, by 50 of the 51 original member countries...

 and other sources. An important guiding principle — indeed, it is listed as General Order One in the list of Starfleet general orders — is the Prime Directive
Prime Directive
In the universe of Star Trek, the Prime Directive, Starfleet's General Order #1, is the most prominent guiding principle of the United Federation of Planets...

, which forbids any interference in the natural development of any pre-warp civilization. This is intended to prevent even well-intentioned Federation personnel from introducing changes which could destabilize or even destroy other pre-warp-era cultures through interference. In practice, however, consistent application of the Prime Directive tends to be a controversial issue, and the Federation does not always abide strictly by it, such as when it attempted to strongarm the Organians into forming an alliance with it, or when it initially approved the forced relocation of the Ba'ku from their adopted homeworld—although it was eventually determined that the Ba'ku were not a pre-warp civilization. Other aspects of the Articles provide for rule of law, equality among individuals and protection of civil and creative liberties, which appears to be based on principles found in contemporary Western political theory. It includes a set of guarantees of civil rights, the "Seventh Guarantee" being analogous to the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure. Its guarantees stem from English common law which traces back to the Magna Carta in 1215...

 and its protection against self-incrimination.

The Federation also has its own black ops agency, referred to only as "Section 31
Section 31
In the Star Trek fictional universe, Section 31 is an autonomous intelligence and defense organization. It is presented as a special security operation, manned by Federation citizens, that is not subject to the normal constraints of Starfleet ethical protocols...

". It can be considered analogous to the modern-day CIA, or to the Romulan Star Empire's "Tal Shiar" and the Cardassians' "Obsidian Order".

The Federation has exacting requirements for prospective member worlds that wish to join. Caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

-based discrimination is forbidden, and major systematic violations of sentient rights, such as the unjust peacetime imprisonment of specially modified soldiers
Supersoldier
Supersoldier is a term often used to describe a soldier that operates beyond normal human limits or abilities. Supersoldiers are common in science fiction literature, films, TV programs, computer, conspiracy theories, and video games, but have also made appearances in other related genres, such as...

 on the planet Angosia, are not tolerated for any petitioner. Furthermore, while most member worlds have single, unified world government
World government
World government is the notion of a single common political authority for all of humanity. Its modern conception is rooted in European history, particularly in the philosophy of ancient Greece, in the political formation of the Roman Empire, and in the subsequent struggle between secular authority,...

s, it is not required for entry, as the Federation will consider "associate membership" of non-unified worlds.

Non-canon


In many non-canon sources like The Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual
The Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual
The Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual is a fiction reference book by Franz Joseph Schnaubelt, about the workings of Starfleet, a military, exploratory, and diplomatic organization featured in the television series, Star Trek.Although it is fiction, the book is presented as an in-universe...

and Worlds of the Federation, as well as the FASA and Last Unicorn Games Star Trek role-playing game
Role-playing game
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development...

s, the five founding worlds of the United Federation of Planets were Earth, Vulcan, Tellar, Andoria, and Alpha Centauri
Alpha Centauri
Alpha Centauri is the brightest star in the southern constellation of Centaurus...

. Alpha Centauri being a founding world of the Federation and even having a humanlike native race called Centaurans became a popular fan theory, possibly based on uncertainty as to whether or not Zefram Cochrane
Zefram Cochrane
Zefram Cochrane is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe. Created by writer Gene L. Coon, the character first appeared in the 1967 Star Trek episode "Metamorphosis", in which he was played by Glenn Corbett. James Cromwell later played Cochrane in the 1996 feature film Star Trek: First...

 (described in Metamorphosis as "Zefram Cochrane of Alpha Centauri") was a native of Alpha Centauri or a resident of a human colony in that system; the latter has since been revealed to be the case, Cochrane having spent most of his life on Earth but eventually retiring to spend his final years on Alpha Centauri, prior to his disappearance and presumed death.

The once official, but now non-canon Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology
Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology
Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology is a book written and edited by Stan and Fred Goldstein, and illustrated by Rick Sternbach. At the time of its publication it was the official history of the Star Trek universe...

 1980 - 2188
guide states that the UFP was "incorporated at the first Babel Interplanetary Conference" in the year 2087.

Later, in Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction television series. It follows the adventures of humanity's first warp 5 starship, the Enterprise, ten years before the United Federation of Planets shown in previous Star Trek series was formed.Enterprise premiered on September 26, 2001...

the actual founding of the Federation can be seen in the episodes "Zero Hour
Zero Hour (Enterprise episode)
"Zero Hour" is the title of an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise; it was the season finale for season three. The episode was the end of a season-long story arc in which the crew of the Enterprise try to stop the Xindi-Reptilians from destroying Earth....

" and "These Are the Voyages...
These Are the Voyages... (Enterprise episode)
"These Are the Voyages..." is the series finale of the UPN television show Star Trek: Enterprise. The 22nd episode of the fourth season and the 98th of the series overall, it first aired on May 13, 2005, in the United States...

," and early negotiations that lead to it in "Demons
Demons (Enterprise episode)
"Demons" is the title of a Star Trek: Enterprise television episode from season four.A xenophobic faction of humanity known as Terra Prime creates a Vulcan-Human hybrid child from Trip's and T'Pol's DNA. The organization, led by John Frederick Paxton , is dedicated to repelling all non-human...

" and "Terra Prime
Terra Prime (Enterprise episode)
"Terra Prime" is the title of a Star Trek: Enterprise television episode.John Frederick Paxton, the leader of the human xenophobic group Terra Prime introduced in the previous episode, threatens to destroy Starfleet Command, using a meteorite-blasting array on Mars, unless all aliens leave Earth...

." Alpha Centauri is not mentioned as part of the founding, which is explicitly said to be between Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites. This leaves open the possibility of the Alpha Centauri colony becoming an independent polity some time between "Terra Prime" and "These Are the Voyages...," and then helping to form the Federation as a separate member. However, Alpha Centauri is only ever mentioned in passing as an Earth colony on screen. In the alternate timeline seen in the DS9 episode "Past Tense," where the Federation was never formed, Alpha Centauri is a Romulan colony instead.

In the novels A Time to Kill, A Time to Heal, A Time For War, A Time For Peace, Errand of Vengeance: Seeds of Rage, and Articles of the Federation, the Federation Council was shown occupying the floors below the President's office in the Palais de la Concorde. This may be seen as contradicting elements of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is a 1986 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth feature film based on the Star Trek science fiction television series and completes the story arc begun in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and continued in Star Trek III: The...

and Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. Set in the 24th century from the year 2371 through 2378, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager, which becomes stranded in the Delta Quadrant 70,000 light-years from Earth while...

.


In some non-canonical works like The Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual and the novel Articles of the Federation, the Federation's founding document is called the "Articles Of Federation," which has been popular fan tradition. However, in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "The Void", the text of the founding document is shown on screen (the preamble is a slightly reworded version of the UN Charter), and it is clearly called the "Charter of the United Federation of Planets," canonically establishing that as the name of the founding document. The term "charter
Charter
A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified...

" is also used in Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction television series. It follows the adventures of humanity's first warp 5 starship, the Enterprise, ten years before the United Federation of Planets shown in previous Star Trek series was formed.Enterprise premiered on September 26, 2001...

and in the DS9
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe...

episode "Accession," when discussing membership requirements for the Federation. That latter episode seemed to indicate that the timetable for a world's entry into the Federation is ten years after the request is made, although the Federation was willing to cut that time in half for Bajor in that episode, and has similarly made other exceptions for times of war, as seen in Star Trek: Insurrection
Star Trek: Insurrection
Star Trek: Insurrection is a 1998 American science fiction film directed by Jonathan Frakes, written by Michael Piller , and with music composed by Jerry Goldsmith. It is the ninth film in the Star Trek franchise, and the third to feature the cast from the television series Star Trek: The Next...

. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the Star Trek franchise. Roddenberry, Rick Berman, and Michael Piller served as executive producers at different times throughout the production...

episode "The Drumhead
The Drumhead (TNG episode)
"The Drumhead" is the 95th episode of the science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.-Synopsis:Following an explosion in the dilithium chamber in the engine room, Starfleet Command dispatches retired Rear Admiral Norah Satie to head up the investigation to determine the cause...

," Captain Picard refers to the founding document in passing as "the Constitution," establishing that it is also known by that name. Novels such as Articles of the Federation presume that it is known by all three names.

21st century


After the disastrous World War III was fought by multiple forces (deliberately described as "factions," not nations) on Earth, scientist Zefram Cochrane
Zefram Cochrane
Zefram Cochrane is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe. Created by writer Gene L. Coon, the character first appeared in the 1967 Star Trek episode "Metamorphosis", in which he was played by Glenn Corbett. James Cromwell later played Cochrane in the 1996 feature film Star Trek: First...

 built Earth's first warp-capable vessel, the Phoenix. He launched it 5 April 2063. The warp-testing of this vessel would garner the attention of a Vulcan science ship operating just outside of the Solar System
Solar System
The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun...

. Vulcan
Vulcan (Star Trek)
Vulcans, or sometimes Vulcanians, are an extraterrestrial humanoid species in the Star Trek universe who evolved on the planet Vulcan, and are noted for their attempt to live by reason and logic with no interference from emotion. They were the first extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek...

s had not previously considered the Solar System of Earth, or Earth itself, worthy of their attention before this time. However, the science ship lands on Earth, and makes first-contact with Zefram Cochrane and the inhabitants of Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman is a city in and the county seat of Gallatin County, Montana, United States, in the southwestern part of the state. The 2010 census put Bozeman's population at 37,280 making it the fourth largest city in the state. It is the principal city of the Bozeman micropolitan area, which consists...

. This contact would be the first time that Earth joins the interstellar community, and begins the road toward the foundation of the United Federation of Planets.

22nd-23rd centuries


In the year 2119, an aging Zefram Cochrane
Zefram Cochrane
Zefram Cochrane is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe. Created by writer Gene L. Coon, the character first appeared in the 1967 Star Trek episode "Metamorphosis", in which he was played by Glenn Corbett. James Cromwell later played Cochrane in the 1996 feature film Star Trek: First...

 opens the Warp 5 Complex on Earth, in the hope of building a vessel that would be the fastest human starship at the time. Eventually this project would yield the Enterprise
Starship Enterprise
The Enterprise or USS Enterprise is the name of several fictional starships, some of which are the focal point for various television series and films in the Star Trek franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. It is considered a name of legacy in the fleet...

 NX-01,
Earth's first deep-space exploration vessel.

In 2150, a World Government, United Earth, was formed that included virtually all of the old nation states on Earth.

Although no single individual is responsible for the foundation of the United Federation of Planets, the exploratory vessel Enterprise NX-01 was a major catalyst. Under the command of Captain Jonathan Archer
Jonathan Archer
Jonathan Archer is a fictional character in the Star Trek franchise. He is the protagonist of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise, where he is played by Scott Bakula...

, it helped forge an alliance between the formerly belligerent Vulcan
Vulcan (Star Trek)
Vulcans, or sometimes Vulcanians, are an extraterrestrial humanoid species in the Star Trek universe who evolved on the planet Vulcan, and are noted for their attempt to live by reason and logic with no interference from emotion. They were the first extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek...

, Andorian
Andorian
Andorians are a fictional race of humanoid extraterrestrials created by D. C. Fontana for the Star Trek universe. They are native to the icy M-class moon Andoria , which orbits a blue, ringed gas giant. Definitive traits include their blue skin, a pair of cranial antennae, and white hair...

, and Tellarite
Tellarite
Tellarites are a fictional species from the planet Tellar from the Star Trek television show.Though not used in a great number of episodes, they are one of the founding races of the show's United Federation of Planets, to which Earth belongs....

 states, and forged a spirit of unity and cooperation in the Alpha Quadrant, culminating in a formal union in 2161. It was first preceded by the Coalition of Planets, which was mainly opposed by the xenophobic group, Terra Prime. The Federation was formed largely out of the ashes of the Earth-Romulan War of the late 2150s ending in 2160, when the founding members saw the need for interstellar unity to prevent the horror of further war. Archer was one of the individuals who signed the Federation Charter, after giving a historic speech that was still being studied two centuries later. According to information seen on a viewscreen in a late episode of Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction television series. It follows the adventures of humanity's first warp 5 starship, the Enterprise, ten years before the United Federation of Planets shown in previous Star Trek series was formed.Enterprise premiered on September 26, 2001...

,
Jonathan Archer later became the Federation ambassador to Andoria, a Federation Councillor, and President of the United Federation of Planets from 2184 to 2192.

Around 2223, tensions thickened between the UFP and the Klingon Empire
Klingon
Klingons are a fictional warrior race in the Star Trek universe.Klingons are recurring villains in the 1960s television show Star Trek: The Original Series, and have appeared in all five spin-off series and eight feature films...

. In 2267, the Organian Peace Treaty was signed which ended major engagements, but the two interstellar powers remained in a state of cold war with occasional skirmishes over the next couple of decades. In 2293 the Klingons sued for peace
Suing for peace
Suing for peace is an act by a warring nation to initiate a peace process in which the peace terms are more favorable than an unconditional surrender...

 after the destruction of the Klingon moon Praxis, leading eventually to the signing of the Khitomer Accords (the events depicted in Star Trek VI
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is the sixth feature film in the Star Trek science fiction franchise and is the last of the Star Trek films to include the entire main cast of the 1960s Star Trek television series. Released in 1991 by Paramount Pictures, it was directed by Nicholas Meyer and...

). This effectively ended the war and ushered in seven decades of relative peace.

During the era of the original series
Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry, produced by Desilu Productions . Star Trek was telecast on NBC from September 8, 1966, through June 3, 1969...

, Captain James Kirk
James T. Kirk
James Tiberius "Jim" Kirk is a character in the Star Trek media franchise. Kirk was first played by William Shatner as the principal lead character in the original Star Trek series. Shatner voiced Kirk in the animated Star Trek series and appeared in the first seven Star Trek movies...

 once noted (in the episode Metamorphosis) that humanity was on "a thousand planets and spreading out;" however, this number apparently encompasses Earth's many off-Earth colonies and the various alien worlds on which humans can be found (just as non-humans have been depicted as residing on Earth) and should not be taken to mean that the Federation itself had a thousand members at that time. Considering that many of the Federation's other members have several interplanetary colonies just as Earth does, the full number of planets which the Federation encompasses may be impossible to determine; it is presumed that colony worlds are directly subsidiary to the planetary governments of their homeworlds (much like individual states/provinces in a nation), but this has never been clearly established.

Early 24th century


In 2311, the Tomed Incident occurred in which thousands of Federation civilians and Starfleet personnel were killed by Romulan forces. The unrest was ended by the Treaty of Algeron, which re-affirmed the Neutral Zone and prohibited Federation development of cloaking technology.

In 2344, the Romulan Star Empire launched an assault on the Klingon outpost at Narendra III, but unexpectedly the USS Enterprise-C
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-C)
The USS Enterprise is a fictional starship that appears in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise". This Ambassador-class starship, under the command of Captain Rachel Garrett , is the fourth Federation starship to carry the name Enterprise...

, under the command of Captain Rachel Garrett, came to the Klingons' defense. This Enterprise was destroyed in the skirmish, a sacrifice which did great honor to the Klingons, and the burgeoning diplomacy between the two powers soon grew into a formal alliance. (In an alternate timeline
Yesterday's Enterprise
"Yesterday's Enterprise" is the fifteenth episode of the third season of the science fiction television show Star Trek: The Next Generation. The episode first aired in syndication the week of February 19, 1990...

, the Enterprise-C did not so assist, leading eventually to a full-scale war.)

Exploration and expansion in the 2340s and 2350s brought the Federation into conflict with several minor and major powers including the Talarians, the Sheliak and eventually, the Cardassians.

Cardassian War


Federation contact with a race called the Cardassian
Cardassian
The Cardassians are an extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek science fiction franchise. First introduced in the 1991 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Wounded", the species originating on the fictional Alpha Quadrant planet Cardassia Prime...

s resulted in an extended conflict. One incident in this conflict was the massacre of Federation civilians on Setlik III in 2347. A truce was reached and a Demilitarized Zone was formed in 2370. A number of Federation and Cardassian colonies found themselves situated within the other’s territory; an agreement was reached for the transfer of those colonies. However, some Federation colonists were opposed to the agreement and formed the Maquis, a rebel movement who resisted the Cardassians (see below).

Mid-24th century


In 2365, the Federation had first formal contact with the Borg Collective, who threatened the existence of the Federation at the Battle of Wolf 359
Battle of Wolf 359
The Battle of Wolf 359 is a fictional space battle in the Star Trek universe between the United Federation of Planets and the Borg Collective in the year 2367...

. Other events of this era include the Klingon Civil War, first contact with the Q
Q Continuum
In the fictional televised Star Trek universe, the Q Continuum is an extradimensional plane of existence inhabited by a race of extremely powerful, hyper-intelligent beings known as the Q...

, and various time travel incidents.

From 2363 to 2371, the USS Enterprise-D
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)
The USS Enterprise is a 24th century starship in the Star Trek fictional universe and the principal setting of the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series...

 served as the Federation's flagship.

From 2371-2378, the USS Voyager NCC-74656 was lost in the Delta Quadrant after being taken in the Badlands by the Caretaker's Array.

From 2373 to 2375, the Federation fought in the Dominion War
Dominion War
The Dominion War is an extended plot concept developed in a number of story arcs of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, an American science-fiction television series produced by Paramount Pictures...

. This was by far the largest conflict the Federation had ever been involved in, allying with the Klingon
Klingon
Klingons are a fictional warrior race in the Star Trek universe.Klingons are recurring villains in the 1960s television show Star Trek: The Original Series, and have appeared in all five spin-off series and eight feature films...

s and Romulan
Romulan
The Romulans are a fictional alien race in the Star Trek universe. First appearing in the original Star Trek series in the 1966 episode "Balance of Terror", they have since made appearances in all the main later Star Trek series: The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager...

s against the combined forces of the Dominion, the Cardassians, and Breen. The Federation/Klingon/Romulan alliance was victorious, due in no small part to the Cardassians switching sides in the war after some of its officials realized that the Dominion had bloodlessly conquered them, but with substantial casualties on both sides.

In 2379, a Reman
Reman
In the fictional Star Trek universe, Remans are natives of the planet Remus. They were first introduced in the movie Star Trek Nemesis and were also shown in several episodes of Star Trek Enterprise...

 Praetor
Praetor
Praetor was a title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to men acting in one of two official capacities: the commander of an army, usually in the field, or the named commander before mustering the army; and an elected magistratus assigned varied duties...

 named Shinzon seized control of the Romulan Star Empire. The coup was defeated by the crew of the USS Enterprise-E
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E)
The USS Enterprise is a Sovereign-class starship in the Star Trek franchise. It serves as the primary setting of the films Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek Nemesis...

 with assistance from dissidents within the Romulan fleet, opening up the possibility of improved UFP/Romulan relations after over two centuries of tension. However, this improved relationship came at a cost, as the death of Shinzon may have created a power vacuum
Power vacuum
A power vacuum is, in its broadest sense, an expression for a condition that exists when someone has lost control of something and no one has replaced them. It is usually used to refer to a political situation that can occur when a government has no identifiable central authority...

.

Future


Prominent in some timelines is the Temporal Cold War
Temporal Cold War
The Temporal Cold War is a fictional conflict waged throughout history in the Star Trek universe, predominantly during the 22nd century AD...

, waged on a number of fronts throughout time including the 28th and 31st centuries.

By the 29th century, the Federation explores time as it once did with space.

Alternate timeline


As depicted in the Star Trek: Countdown comic series, in 2387 the star of the Hobus system went supernova and posed a serious threat to the Romulan Star Empire. Ambassador Spock
Spock
Spock is a fictional character in the Star Trek media franchise. First portrayed by Leonard Nimoy in the original Star Trek series, Spock also appears in the animated Star Trek series, two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, seven of the Star Trek feature films, and numerous Star Trek...

 formulated a plan involving red matter to halt the Hobus supernova; saving billions of lives and preventing the political destabilization of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. However, they did not act soon enough to save Romulus from being destroyed. A Romulan mining ship called the Narada captained by Nero attacked the Jellyfish (the ship in which Spock traveled) as Nero blames the Federation (Ambassador Spock in particular) for the destruction of his homeworld and for the death of his wife and child. During the attack, both ships are pulled into the singularity and transported into the past; the appearance of the Narada (which arrives farther into the past than the Jellyfish) and its subsequent attack on the USS Kelvin creates an alternate timeline depicted in the 2009 Star Trek film.

Economics



The Federation has largely been portrayed as a socialist economic utopia
Utopia
Utopia is an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system. The word was imported from Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt...

. On Earth, war and poverty have been eliminated. Individuals strive for self-betterment rather than fiscal remuneration. This condition probably does not extend to the outer reaches of the Federation or other powers with similar levels of technology, where substances such as latinum are used as currency on a somewhat ad hoc
Ad hoc
Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes. Compare A priori....

basis, and for the purpose of trade with other cultures, although there have been persistent references to a "credit" unit of currency used at least occasionally in the Federation.

In the Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. Set in the 24th century from the year 2371 through 2378, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager, which becomes stranded in the Delta Quadrant 70,000 light-years from Earth while...

episode "Dark Frontier
Dark Frontier
"Dark Frontier" is a feature length episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the 15th and 16th episodes of the fifth season. This episode originally aired as a feature-length episode that was later broken up into two parts for reruns in syndication...

," Tom Paris
Tom Paris
Thomas Eugene "Tom" Paris, played by Robert Duncan McNeill, is a character in the television series Star Trek: Voyager. Paris serves as the chief helmsman and an auxiliary medic aboard the USS Voyager...

 describes it as the "New World Economy," which began in the late 22nd century and eventually made money obsolete, as does Jean-Luc Picard
Jean-Luc Picard
Captain Jean-Luc Picard is a Star Trek character portrayed by Patrick Stewart. He appears in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the feature films Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek Nemesis...

 while explaining the timeline to Lily Sloane in Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: First Contact is the eighth feature film in the Star Trek science fiction franchise, released in November 1996, by Paramount Pictures. First Contact is the first film in the franchise to feature no cast members from the original Star Trek television series of the 1960s...

.


The first mention of the Federation not using money came in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is a 1986 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth feature film based on the Star Trek science fiction television series and completes the story arc begun in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and continued in Star Trek III: The...

, where Kirk (coming from 2286) says "these people still use money" upon arriving at 20th-century Earth, and says "We don't" when asked whether or not he and his crew use money in the 23rd century. In "The Neutral Zone", Picard tries to explain to cryogenically preserved people from the late 20th century that 24th century economics are quite different and money as they know it is not used or needed in the Federation. In Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: First Contact is the eighth feature film in the Star Trek science fiction franchise, released in November 1996, by Paramount Pictures. First Contact is the first film in the franchise to feature no cast members from the original Star Trek television series of the 1960s...

, he gives a similar speech to Lily.

However, this appears to be either a retcon
Retcon
Retroactive continuity is the alteration of previously established facts in a fictional work. Retcons are done for many reasons, including the accommodation of sequels or further derivative works in a series, wherein newer authors or creators want to revise the in-story history to allow a course...

, or a change in the Federation that occurred over the course of the 23rd century, as apparently for at least the latter half of the 23rd century, a monetary unit known as the "credit" was in fairly common use. At the Federation space station K-7 in the original series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles," set in 2267, Uhura offers to buy a Tribble for 10 credits. In the episode "Errand of Mercy
Errand of Mercy (TOS episode)
"Errand of Mercy" is an episode of Star Trek. It was originally broadcast on March 23, 1967. It is episode #26, production #27, written by Gene L. Coon and directed by John Newland. This episode marks the first appearance of the Klingons....

," also set in 2267, Spock estimates that Starfleet has invested over 122,200 credits in his training as a Starfleet
Starfleet
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, Starfleet or the Federation Starfleet is the deep-space exploratory, peacekeeping and military service maintained by the United Federation of Planets . It is the principal means by which the Federation conducts its exploration, defense, diplomacy and research...

 officer. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is a 1984 motion picture released by Paramount Pictures. The film is the third feature based on the Star Trek science fiction franchise and is the center of a three-film story arc that begins with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and concludes with Star Trek IV:...

,
in 2285, while on Earth, McCoy attempts to hire a ship to take him to the Genesis Planet, and is warned it would be expensive and cost many credits; we do not know if McCoy could have afforded this or how much it would cost, since he was taken into custody for breaching the secrecy of the Genesis Project immediately afterwards. And in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. The film is the second feature based on the Star Trek science fiction franchise. The plot features James T...

,
Carol Marcus mentions the Federation's decision whether or not to "fund" the Genesis Project itself, though "fund" may mean something different in this context as credits are not mentioned. There are also references to "buying" and "selling" that do not specifically mention credits; for example, while entering the meeting room in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is the sixth feature film in the Star Trek science fiction franchise and is the last of the Star Trek films to include the entire main cast of the 1960s Star Trek television series. Released in 1991 by Paramount Pictures, it was directed by Nicholas Meyer and...

,
Scott states that he had just purchased a boat. During the film Star Trek Generations, Captain Kirk states that he sold his house some time in the previous nine years, which from Kirk's perspective would be between 2284 and roughly 2290. By the time of The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the Star Trek franchise. Roddenberry, Rick Berman, and Michael Piller served as executive producers at different times throughout the production...

,
money was considered abhorrent to many members of Starfleet, although in Encounter at Farpoint
Encounter at Farpoint (TNG episode)
"Encounter at Farpoint" is the first episode of the science fiction television program Star Trek: The Next Generation It was written by series creator Gene Roddenberry and directed by Corey Allen....

,
set in 2364, Beverly Crusher
Beverly Crusher
Commander Beverly Crusher, M.D. , played by actress Gates McFadden, is a fictional character on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and its subsequent spinoff films...

 buys a bolt of fabric and requests that it be charged to her account on the Enterprise. Two years later, in 2366, in The Price
The Price (TNG episode)
"The Price" aired as episode #56 in the third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.-Overview:Several groups, including the Federation, bid for rights to manage the entrance to a wormhole near a resource-poor planet.-Plot:...

,
the Federation is willing to pay millions of credits for access to a stable wormhole. Additionally, some officers were shown in Tapestry
Tapestry (TNG episode)
"Tapestry" is the 141st episode of the science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.-Overview:The episode serves to provide character development of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who is featured in this episode to the general exclusion of the rest of the cast. Its primary theme,...

to visit casinos, particularly near starbases, and poker is shown on a number of occasions to be a favorite pastime of Enterprise-D crewmembers, though real money is never said to be part of the game. In the Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe...

episode "Explorers
Explorers (DS9 episode)
"Explorers" is an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 22nd episode of the third season. It is rated 4.3/5 on the official Star Trek Website.-Plot:...

," Benjamin Sisko
Benjamin Sisko
Benjamin Lafayette Sisko, played by Avery Brooks, is the main character of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.-Early life and career:...

 says that when he first entered Starfleet Academy
Starfleet Academy
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, Starfleet Academy is where the future's recruits to Starfleet will be trained. It was created in the year 2161, when the United Federation of Planets was founded...

, he rapidly spent an entire month's allotment of transporter credits (which may not be the same thing as 23rd-century credits) on transporting back and forth to his home in New Orleans. He also arranges for his wife's employer to give her a month's paid vacation (emphasis in episode) in The Changing Face of Evil (although his wife works for the Bajorans, a non-Federation race). And in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe. Set in the 24th century from the year 2371 through 2378, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet vessel USS Voyager, which becomes stranded in the Delta Quadrant 70,000 light-years from Earth while...

,
Tom Paris
Tom Paris
Thomas Eugene "Tom" Paris, played by Robert Duncan McNeill, is a character in the television series Star Trek: Voyager. Paris serves as the chief helmsman and an auxiliary medic aboard the USS Voyager...

 makes a reference to having someone "pay his bar bills."

From this evidence, it is unclear that money in the form of legal tender
Legal tender
Legal tender is a medium of payment allowed by law or recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Paper currency is a common form of legal tender in many countries....

has effectively ceased to exist.

External links