Federal government

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Federal government
USA Flag Pre-War.pngGreater coat of arms of the United States.svg
HeadquartersWashington, D.C. (pre-War)
The Whitespring Bunker (Continuity of Government)
Control station Enclave (shadow government)
Raven Rock (Continuity of Government)
Notable LocationsColumbia Commonwealth
East Central Commonwealth
Eastern Commonwealth
Four States Commonwealth
Gulf Commonwealth
Great Midwest Commonwealth
New England Commonwealth
Northern Commonwealth
Northwest Commonwealth
Plains Commonwealth
Southeast Commonwealth
Southeast Commonwealth
Texas Commonwealth
Relations and associations
ParentUnited States of America
Child EntitiesBureau of Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco, Firearms and Lasers
United States Armed Forces
Defense Intelligence Agency
United States Space Administration
Federal Fitness Registry
Related EntitiesEnclave
Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FO3 PL.pngGametitle-FO3 BS.pngGametitle-FNV.png
Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FO3 PL.pngGametitle-FO3 BS.pngGametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-FNV LR.pngGametitle-FO4.pngGametitle-F76.pngGametitle-FB.pngGametitle-VB.png

This article is a summary of the known information concerning the appearance and activity of the United States' federal government and its successor, the Enclave, in the Fallout world.

Before the Great War[edit | edit source]

Great Seal of the United States at war bonds advertisement

Executive branch[edit | edit source]

The President of the United States was mentioned in the Fallout games as well as some federal departments, listed as follows:

F76 Emmett Mountains Disposal Site.png
  • Department of Antiquities[30]

Legislative branch[edit | edit source]

Congress mentions:

  • In February 15, 2075 both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted unanimously to impeach the President for jaywalking,[32]
  • The complete books of the Library of Congress were packed in the G.E.C.K.,
  • Senator Sam Blackwell is mentioned.[33]
  • Senator Calvert was mentioned.[34][35][36]
  • Senator Todd Peterson was mentioned.[37]

Judicial branch[edit | edit source]

Federal Courts were mentioned in the Tibbets design document.

Enclave[edit | edit source]

There was a covert branch of the legal U.S. government that acted as a shadow government,[38] and intended to launch a coup d'état against the real U.S. government. It was called the Enclave. Its members also acted as lobbyists for major American corporations like Vault-Tec, General Atomics International and RobCo.[3]

Post-Great War succession[edit | edit source]

In March 2077, with the United States government prepared for a nuclear or biological attack from China, the President of the United States and the government and corporate officials who made up the secret shadow government known as the Enclave retreated to remote sections around the globe and made contingency plans for continuing the war against the Chinese.[39] These plans presumably included provisions for the continuity of government and preservation of the line of succession.[40]

  • One of the few old world organizations to survive the Great War was the Enclave - before the war the organization that served as a shadow government within the legal federal government of the United States. Members of the Enclave were military hardliners who both embraced the idea of a nuclear war to rid the world of Communist influence and knew that the common man could not survive it. They believed that as long as the "important people" of the United States survived, they could regroup quickly and wipe out Communism once and for all and then build a better world without the threat posed by China or anyone else to the American way of life. The Enclave established itself on an abandoned Poseidon Energy oil-drilling platform off the coast of California that was protected from the nuclear firestorm of 2077.
  • In 2241 NORAD was listed as being offline,[41] and would have been seen as a bombed-out Crater during Van Buren, in 2253.[3]
  • The constitutional status of the Enclave's President of the United States was questioned by the Brotherhood of Steel. Matthew, their representative in San Francisco, referred to President Dick Richardson as the "so-called President".[42]
  • In 2277 there was no U.S. government presence at federal government buildings such as the Pentagon and the Capitol, as the Capital Wasteland had no central political authority or law enforcement mechanism.[43]
  • The federal government[44] may not have ever considered the Vaults as American society's best chance for survival in the event of a nuclear war or a viral pandemic - instead, the government's officials may have considered themselves the best candidates for rebuilding the world and already had their own posteriors covered in the event of a nuclear or biological war by relocating to other remote installations across the nation (and elsewhere) that were not necessarily Vaults. The Enclave certainly did not seem to be devoting much effort to digging up any other Vaults and trying to use the human stock there to rebuild civilization.[45]

Enclave Operations, 2077-2241[edit | edit source]

Executive branch[edit | edit source]

According to the Fallout Bible presidential powers accorded to the leader of the Enclave were as follows:

  • Presidential Orders could concern military research and data protection[46] while Presidential Directives could concern the Enclave's armed forces conditioning and testing programs.[47]
  • Presidential decisions could concern major scientific projects of the Enclave connected to military actions.[48]

The President also directly controlled the automatic Emergency Defensive Systems on the Enclave's oil-drilling platform.

In the year 2220 Congressman Dick Richardson was elected president for his first term of four years (he would be elected to five), through the aid and political pressure provided by his father, a previous American president under the Enclave. It is not certain that if Dick Richardson was the president in 2241 he was also the one elected in 2220, over twenty years before. However it was possible, if under the Enclave a president could be reelected more than once to a new term. This would have been legal if the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution had never been passed in 1951, a real possibility in the divergent Fallout universe.[49]

There was a cabinet mentioned also. It was the addressee of the Project report from the United States Chemical Corps and the Power Plant Operations report from the Enclave's Atomic Energy Commission. Its seat was the Executive Office on Control station Enclave.The only known cabinet-level executive officer in the Enclave was the Vice-President of the United States, the first person in the presidential line of succession.[50]

There were some executive agencies present after the Great War, like the Secret Service, the Atomic Energy Commission,[51] National Aeronautics and Space Administration (also referred to as the United States Space Agency)[52] and the Environmental Protection Agency.[53] The United States Armed Forces were present and its Enclave Patrols at the Navarro perimeter also acted as border police.

Legislative branch[edit | edit source]

The Vice President of the United States was present on the Enclave's oil rig[41] (he shall be President of the Senate).[54] According to the Fallout Bible since August 1, 2215 Congressman Dick Richardson had been rising to power within the Enclave, aided by pressure from his father, the first President Richardson.[55]

Judicial branch[edit | edit source]

No information about this branch of the American federal government under the Enclave has been provided in the games, except the for the fact that courts-martial were performed by officers of the Enclave's armed forces (as in the real world American military).[41]

After the destruction of the Enclave oil rig, 2242-2277[edit | edit source]

The destruction of the Enclave's oil-drilling platform off the coast of California in 2242, following[56] the Chosen One’s assassination of the Enclave’s President of the United States, erased all trace of President Dick Richardson from history.[57] However, some broken remnants of the Enclave survived.

Possible candidates for acting commander of the Enclave armed forces following the death of President Richardson and the destruction of the oil rig were Enclave military officers who could have survived the destruction of the oil rig, e.g. those on the Enclave's mainland outposts' senior staff, Enclave Control Company's senior personnel or some Enclave military officers who might have evacuated in Vertibirds from the rig or had been deployed on outside missions.[58] The commander of the remaining Enclave military forces was Augustus Autumn, who had risen to the rank of Colonel by 2277.[59]

A new President of the United States appeared, John Henry Eden, from the Raven Rock military base on the East Coast in the Capital Wasteland near the ruins of Washington, D.C. Despite the fact that some of the remnants of the Enclave government had survived[60] after the destruction of the Enclave's oil rig in 2242, according to Colonel Autumn, Eden was next in line for leadership. President Eden then ordered Colonel Autumn to relocate the Enclave's military forces from California to the Raven Rock base. Before the destruction of the Enclave oil rig, John Henry Eden had served as an adviser to many of the American presidents of the Enclave. He was probably a remote adviser in fact, because he was not actually human but a Pre-Great War artificial intelligence permanently located in the Raven Rock base within the ZAX supercomputer unit there.[61] It is not certain if Eden was a member of President Richardson's cabinet.[62] According to President Eden's propaganda broadcasts on the Enclave Radio a new presidential election was promised to the surviving people of the United States, but without going into the details for "reasons of national security." Eden also promised to surrender the office of the Presidency to the winner of this election - without stating the exact time when this would occur, however. According to some speeches made on Enclave Radio there was still some form of Congress in the Enclave as well. The only person aware of President Eden's true identity as an AI was Colonel Autumn.

Footnote[edit | edit source]

The real-world constitutional provision that lays out the structure of the executive agencies of the executive branch of the federal government is the United States Constitution, Article Two, Section 2, Clause 1: "the President may require the Opinion of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices". As the timeline Divergence occurred in the 1940s or 1950's, it can be assumed that the U.S. Constitution in the Fallout universe was identical to the real-world document up to the Twenty-first Amendment. Beyond that point, the content of the Fallout version of the Constitution is wholly unknown.

See also[edit | edit source]


  1. The real world War Department was subsumed by Department of the Army in 1945, renamed in 1947 into Department of Defense.
  2. File:WantedPosterJWB.png
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Van Buren
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Fallout 3
  5. Bradley Hercules
  6. SatCom array NW-05a terminal entries#Log Entry #005
  7. Terminal
  9. REPCONN headquarters terminals: Encrypted Message and Inter-office Correspondence #3458631
  10. Naval recruiting center terminals
  11. The logo is on the wall(s) and floor(s)
  12. Fallout Bible 6
  13. however it could be just Vault-Tech branch
  14. Tom Murray: "{101}{}{You see Tom Murray, the head of the Atomic Energy Commission.}"
    Tom Murray: "{124}{}{I'm Tom Murray, head of the Atomic Energy Commission. I control our atomic powerplant here. Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?}"
  15. Power plant operations
  16. Fallout 2, in real world created in 1977
  17. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p.261: "[1.08] Ranger Cabin
    This is the remains of a U.S. Forest Service cabin, the last known whereabouts of a young runaway."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  18. United Nations membership, relations with Soviet Union, possibly it was Department of State, in real world it was Great Seal of the United States keeper also
  19. File:BuyWarBondsFalloutintro.png
  20. Mentioned with its refrigerator only at FREEZER.MSG.
  21. Tibbets Prison design document/1
  22. referred in Fallout 3, however National Aeronautics and Space Administration was referred in Fallout 2
  23. Zion National Park posters:
    File:Zion poster1.png
    File:Zion poster2.png
    File:Zion poster3.png
  24. Randall Clark terminal entries#Year 2077.
  25. File:Fo4 Vault 81 Survey.png File:Fo4 Vault 95 Survey.png File:Fo4 Vault 88 Survey.png
  26. according to its real-world status
  27. H&H Tools Factory terminals; Terminal, E-mail from Jenny DeSoto
  28. Fallout Bible, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency was cabinet level administration officer
  29. Fallout 3, in real world: National Archives Establishment - 1935, General Services Administration - July 1, 1949, and wikipedia:National Archives and Records Administration - 1985
  30. Museum of Technology placard: "The Delta IX Rocket was donated by the United States Space Administration and by a grant from the United States Department of Antiquities."
  31. the District, according to the United States Constitution, is under the jurisdiction of the United States Congress in "all cases whatsoever" (Article I, Section 8, Clause 17)
  32. this information comes from the Sierra Depot GNN transcript holodisk, which Chris Avellone discards as non-canon, as it was supposedly modified by the Sierra Army Depot soldiers
  33. See Sam Blackwell for details
  34. The Lone Wanderer: "So, who is this brain thing, anyway?"
    Desmond Lockheart: "HIM! I should have known. My old rival... so close to his family home. Only he would be so stupid. He was once a man -- Professor Calvert. The Calverts owned half of Maryland, back when there was a Maryland to own. Members of the Calvert family were influential all over the world. They practically owned a deed to the US government. In their best days, there were no less than three Calvert family senators, seven members of the house, and two governors. They even had a top candiate for president, until that scandal with the dog forced him to drop out of the race. I was particularly proud of that one."
    (Desmond Lockheart's dialogue)
  35. Terminal, To: Doctor Stewart
  36. Terminal, An Oversight Review? Already?
  37. Van Buren, Maxson Bunker design document
  38. JESawyer
  39. Fallout Bible
  40. The constitutional foundation for the United States presidential line of succession is established in Article II, Section 1 and Section 3 of the 20th Amendment (1933), as well as the 25th Amendment (1967).
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Fallout 2
  42. Brotherhood of Steel originated from deserted US Armed Forces Military Police security squad and their initial order was issued by Cap. Maxson unless otherwise directed, from a proper representative of the War Department; seizing Pentagon building by paladin Owyn Lyons' detachment in first decades of XXIII century was an irony of fate.
  43. Fallout 3, Raven Rock base content before Autumn arrival is not certain
  44. or whatever branch of federal government was responsible - it was not necessarily the Enclave
  45. Fallout Bible; according that - nonetheless, even members of the Enclave probably could not answer the question of who created the Vault experiments and their reasons, as many of the people responsible for the creation of the Vaults died long ago, and many records were lost in the great static of 2077. President Richardson was familiar with the purpose of the Vaults, but he never saw them as more than little test tubes of preserved humans he could mess with.
  46. known example - power armor research
  47. known example - Horrigan's conditioning, see also: Executive order
  48. known example - decision to go take the Vault 13 inhabitants as test subjects for the Project, which scrambled the vertibird unit
  49. Fallout Bible, it seems the 22nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1951) didn't work (if existed or not repealed) - in real world it also prevents a President from being elected more than twice
  50. very likely cabinet present in the Enclave was minimally staffed
  51. with unknown exact status, reporting to the cabinet, Department of Water nad Power or Department of Energy not mentioned, in real world the same named independent agency existed in 1946-1974 period - see: wikipedia:Atomic Energy Commission
  52. mentioned by Vice President Daniel Bird, an idiot talking about Martian canals, however there had been some pre-War space program and the Enclave off-planet evacuation plans concerned with Bloomfield Space Center - Van Buren; there was no significant means and resources to do anything serious connected with space affairs on the oil rig; there was also pre-War United States Space Agency referred in Fallout 3; in real world NASA is independent agency created in 1958
  53. EPA branch in California in fact with no human staff nad no Enclave presence - Fallout Bible
  54. Article one, Section three, Clause four
  55. finally Congressman Richardson was elected president for the first term of five on March 5th 2220
  56. possibly
  57. according to Fallout 2 ending file for Richardson
  58. eg. elements of verti-assault unit
  59. his exact rank and position in year 2242 is not certain
  60. according to Eden
  61. according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution No person except a natural born Citizen [...] shall be eligible to the Office of President; it seems that part of the US Constitution didn't work, hadn't existed, was repelled or John Henry Eden wasn't legal President of the USA; in that case Enclave remnants were continuation of US Armed Forces only and its leader was nothing more than its acting commander
  62. Fallout 3 character - never appeared in Fallout 2; if not a member of cabinet nor Congress he had no presidential succession entitlement according to real world laws