Star Trek Expanded Universe
United Federation of Planets
UFP Flag.png
The Great Seal of the United Federation of Planets
Founded: 2161
Form: Federal Republic
Location: Alpha and Beta Quadrants
Capital: Earth
Head of State: President
Head of Government: Federation Council
Major Species: Humans
Military: Starfleet
Intelligence Service: Starfleet Intelligence
Language: Federation Standard
"To boldly go where no man has gone before"
— Starfleet Motto

The United Federation of Planets, commonly the Federation or UFP, is an interstellar political entity founded in the 22nd century. In the first two hundred years of its existence, the Federation grew to be the dominant galactic superpower in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, thanks in no small part to the efforts of its Starfleet.

Unlike other galactic powers such as the Klingon Empire or the Romulan Star Empire, where one species subjugates others, the Federation is a democratic metagovernment, comprised of hundreds of planetary and interplanetary member governments, associate members, protectorates and colonies. These worlds and governments are represented by the Federation Council, which meets on Earth, led by the Federation President. (TOS: "Journey to Babel", Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)


The founding of the Federation, in San Francisco, Earth in 2161.

Founded in 2161 in the aftermath of the Earth-Romulan War, the Federation was an outgrowth of an alliance between several worlds, including Earth, Vulcan, Andor, Tellar and Alpha Centauri, among others. (TNG: "The Outcast"; ENT: "Zero Hour", "United", "Demons", "Terra Prime", "These Are the Voyages..."; ST novel: "Articles of the Federation")

Various dates have been given for the Federation's founding in 2161, including 8 May, 12 August and 11 October. Alternately, the predominant pre-canon assumption among fans was that the Federation was already in existence at the time of the Earth-Romulan war.

Despite its peaceful nature and intentions, the Federation faced many conflicts over the years. Encounters with the Klingons in the 22nd and early 23rd centuries eventually led to the Federation-Klingon War of 2256-57, another major conflict ten years later, followed by a cold war. Those "seventy years of unremitting hostility" came to an end in 2293, when the Federation gave aid to the Klingons following the destruction of Praxis, their key energy facility. The Khitomer Conference that followed began the long process toward not only peace, but an alliance between the UFP and the Klingon Empire. The Klingons temporarily withdrew from that alliance in the 2370s, igniting the Second Federation-Klingon War, but peace was soon re-established. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Judgement", et. al; TOS: "Errand of Mercy"; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; TNG: "Heart of Glory", "Yesterday's Enterprise"; DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", "Apocalypse Rising", "In Purgatory's Shadow", "By Inferno's Light"; DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")

The Four Years War may not exist outside of FASA and various fan continuities.

Conflicts between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire ebbed and flowed in the years following the Earth-Romulan War. After the Romulan Neutral Zone was established, the Empire retreated into its borders for nearly 100 years, only venturing out again to test the Federation in the 2260s. From that time on, while no protracted wars broke out, tensions ran high between the two powers. After the fall of the Klingon Neutral Zone, those tensions escalated, and almost surely would have erupted into war were it not for the disastrous Tomed Incident of 2311. After Tomed, the Romulans and Federation signed the Treaty of Algeron, and the Romulans again retreated within their own borders, isolating themselves until the destruction of outposts along the Neutral Zone drew them out again in 2364. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "The Enterprise Incident", Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, TNG: "The Neutral Zone", "The Pegasus")

Smaller conflicts dogged the Federation in the 2340s through the 2360s, including wars with the Cardassians and the Tzenkethi, and the Galen Border Conflicts with the Talarian Republic. The Tholian Assembly was also a threat to the Federation during that period. (TNG: "The Wounded", "Suddenly Human", "The Icarus Factor"; DS9: "The Adversary", "Homefront")

In the mid-2360s, Starfleet made first contact with the greatest single threat they had ever faced: the Borg Collective, a race of cybernetic beings bent on the assimilation of all life in the galaxy. The first Borg incursion was only turned back after a failed defense at the Battle of Wolf 359, and the near assimilation of Earth in 2366-67. Defeated but not destroyed, the Collective would return to plague the Federation again and again, most notably in 2373 and the Battle of Sector 001. (TNG: "Q Who", "The Best of Both Worlds", "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II", "Descent"; Star Trek: First Contact; VOY: "Scorpion", "Dark Frontier", "Endgame")

When the discovery of the Bajoran wormhole in 2369 opened up travel to the distant Gamma Quadrant, it was only a matter of time before the Federation encountered the Dominion. First contact between the two powers came in 2370, and hostilities increased for several years while the Dominion's shape-shifting Founders manipulated various governments, until war broke out in 2373. The Dominion War not only threatened the Federation, but the entire Alpha Quadrant, and drew numerous galactic powers, both friend and former foe, into the Federation Alliance. Though it lasted only two years, the Dominion War was the most costly conflict the Federation had ever endured. Countless lives were lost and several key worlds were occupied before the Dominion offensive was repelled in 2375. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", "The Search, Part II", "The Die Is Cast", "Homefront", "Apocalypse Rising")

Though the price of peace was heavy, especially to the Dominion's former ally Cardassia, the aftermath of the Dominion War saw the opportunity for the Federation to do what it did best, make friends out of old enemies. In addition to the goodwill to be gained from the Cardassian relief effort, the Federation hoped that it could maintain and improve relations with the Romulan Star Empire, perhaps coming to the same sort of détente as with the Klingons eighty-some years before. (Star Trek Nemesis)

The decapitation of the Romulan Star Empire occurred in 2387 with the eruption of the Romulan star's going supernova. (Star Trek) While the occurrence had been predicted, and a Federation armada prepared to evacuate the Romulan worlds, a rogue synth attack at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards in April, 2385 -- and the rendering of Mars to be uninhabitable -- resulted in the Federation's withdrawal. This astrographic event, combined with an inexplicable terrorist attack by internal forces, forever altered the dynamics of the Alpha and Beta Quadrant governments. (Short Treks: "Children of Mars"; PIC: "Remembrance")

During the 30th and 31st centuries, the Federation fought in the Temporal Wars to preserve its subjective history. (DIS: "Die Trying") Simultaneously in the 30th century, supplies of dilithium began to dry up, and Federation researchers on various worlds sought alternate means for faster-than-light travel.

About the year 3069, the event known as "The Burn" occurred, where vast supplies of dilithium went inert simultaneously, resulting in warp core breaches on many starships, allied and threat. Federation Headquarters moved off Earth to a secure location. By 3189, only 38 official members of the Federation remained of an alliance that once spanned hundreds of worlds. ("Die Trying")


The four founding species of the Federation (clockwise from top left): Humans, Vulcans, Tellarites, and Andorians.

More than an alliance of purely independent states, the Federation government is based upon the model of a federal republic, where its member planets and colonies remain semi-autonomous, controlling their local territory as they see fit in accordance with Federation principles as outlined in the Articles of Federation. The government is divided into three branches: the Federation Council acts as the legislative branch, the Federation President, is the chief executive and head of state, and the Federation Supreme Court, serves as the supreme judiciary. The Federation Council has chambers in San Francisco, while offices of the Federation President are located in Paris. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; DS9: "Doctor Bashir, I Presume"; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

The Pocket Books Star Trek novel Articles of the Federation depicts the Federation Council chambers as being in Paris, in the same building as the President's offices. While author Keith R.A. DeCandido admits he forgot the council met in San Francisco in The Voyage Home, it has been suggested that those are the Council's emergency chambers, while they normally meet in Paris.

Agencies and departments[]

  • Bureau of Agricultural Affairs
  • Federation Bureau of First Contact
  • Bureau of Industrialization
  • Bureau of Planetary Treaties
  • Department for the Relocation of Displaced Beings


Military and security[]




From an economic perspective, the Federation functions as a utopian technocracy where all its citizens are provided for thanks to the inexpensive, large-scale production and dissemination of nearly all food, clothing, shelter and consumer goods. By the late-23rd century (and probably earlier), the UFP no longer used money in the traditional sense, but made use of the Federation credit as a basic unit of exchange when needed. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles", et. al)

The exact nature of the Federation credit is not known, although it is likely some form of energy allotment. Alternatively, there may be several different types of credits, such as "transporter credits".

Advances in technology and a drastic shift in public attitudes towards wealth made traditional currencies obsolete in the 22nd century, ushering in the New World Economy. The introduction and advancement of replicators during the 24th century also drastically changed the orientation of the economy, as matter-energy conversion reduced the cost of most small- to medium-scale objects to practically nothing while increasing the efficiency of large-scale construction. (citation needed)

According to 24th century humanists such as Jean-Luc Picard, the driving force behind Federation, and especially human society was no longer the acquisition of wealth, but rather "to better one's self," advance knowledge and the benefit of all. Ironically, the Federation greatly encouraged entrepreneurship, an archaic and seemingly-anachronistic holdover from capitalist economies. The traditional benefits of such endeavors, namely profit and personal gain, were replaced by personal enjoyment and self-betterment and expression, often manifesting in new services to fill the needs and desires of society at large. (Star Trek: First Contact, DS9: "In the Cards")

In general, Federation members and colony worlds are abundant in natural resources, although their relative and intrinsic worth altered as replicator technology reduced the need for many refined and semi-refined materials. Among non-Federation members, like the Ferengi Alliance, other non-replicable materials such as latinum and dilithium are often used as currency. The Federation also uses these materials for interstellar trade with non-aligned parties.

Some Federation member worlds possess rare or exclusive resources, and may be called upon to provide consignments of those substances in times of emergency. In some rare cases, the Federation would trade with non-members to procure necessary commodities. (TOS: "The Cloud Minders"; TNG: "Code of Honor")

Fanon Interpretations[]

Dragon Ball Z vs. Star Trek: The Way of Infinity[]

In the Federation, everyone must work. If one cannot find employment, one must join Starfleet or undertake assigned social tasks such as gardening in public parks or helping ill people in hospitals.

Corporation employees are involved with the decisions of their corporation. All Federation corporations have a council comprised of employees to ensure this happens.

The importance of the tertiary sector of economic activity has been increasing since the second half of the 20th century.

The Federation participates in the annual summits of the leading economic powers of the Alpha Quadrant and the Beta Quadrant. (Dragon Ball Z vs. Star Trek: The Way of Infinity)

Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions[]

The Federation economy in the 24th century is referred to as a utopianism economy (much like the concepts of capitalism, communism and socialism). (Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions)

Membership and sphere of influence[]

In the 2260s, there were at least 30 full members of the UFP, and the Federation was spread out over more than 1,000 worlds. A hundred years later, the Federation had more than 150 members and over a thousand colonies, occupying over 8,000 light years of space. (TOS: "Metamorphosis", "Journey to Babel"; Star Trek: First Contact)

Relations with other major powers[]

Klingon Empire[]

In tlhIngan Hol, the Federation was referred to as yuQjIjDIvI’, roughly "Cooperative Federation of Planets". (The Klingon Dictionary)

The Federation had a stormy relationship with the Klingons. Outlying planets were often subject to Klingon raids, and the two nations fought several wars and cold wars from approximately the 2250s until the signing of the Khitomer Accords in 2293 brought them into a military and economic alliance. (Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Relations degraded again by the 2340s, pushing the two superpowers to the brink of war. However, the destruction of USS Enterprise-C defending the Klingon colony at Narendra III from a Romulan invasion solidified ties. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")

The Klingon Empire was plunged into crisis with the poisoning of Chancellor K'mpec in 2367. Captain Jean-Luc Picard was requested to serve as Arbiter of Succession between Gowron and Duras. Picard's security chief, Worf, ultimately slew Duras in ritual combat in revenge for the latter's murder of his love K'Ehleyr, but Duras's son Toral made a play for the chancellorship the next year while Starfleet was recovering from the Battle of Wolf 359. The Federation was unwilling due to the Prime Directive and political concerns, and unable due to the losses from the battle with the Borg, to aid Chancellor Gowron in the ensuing Klingon Civil War, but blockaded the Klingon-Romulan border to stop Romulan aid from reaching the House of Duras and its backers. Duras's support evaporated and Gowron secured control of the Empire. (TNG: "Reunion", "Redemption", "Redemption II")

However, shortly after in 2372, Gowron invaded the Cardassian Union, believing that Changelings from the Gamma Quadrant had overthrown the prior military dictatorship and demanding that the Federation follow him to war. The Federation Council voted instead to condemn the invasion, so Gowron withdrew from the Khitomer Accords and began a renewed border conflict with the Federation. This new Federation-Klingon War proved inconclusive and ended with the resumption of the alliance in 2373 following the Dominion's installation of Gul Skrain Dukat as a puppet leader on Cardassia. The Federation and Klingons would fight the Dominion War side by side. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", "By Inferno's Light")

Renewed tension between the allies arose in the 2380s over a conflict between the Klingons and the Gorn Hegemony. This ultimately led to the killing of Chancellor Martok by J'mpok, son of Ch'rog, who sought new allies such as the Orion Syndicate. After receiving confirmation from Ja'rod, son of Torg that the Gorn Hegemony had been infiltrated at the highest levels by the Undine, the Klingons launched an all-out assault on Gorn space. The Federation demanded that J'mpok return to the negotiating table; in response, J'mpok withdrew from the Khitomer Accords. (The Path to 2409)

J'mpok continued his hawkish stance against the Federation following the conquest of the Gorn and public execution of the Undine in their government and military, and in 2405 demanded that the Federation cede control of the long-disputed systems along the border. The Federation refused, and a new war began. This war ended by mutual agreement when the Undine threat became more overt around 2410. (Star Trek Online)

In 2410, Kanril Eleya stated an opinion that the Khitomer alliance was inherently unstable due to incompatible value systems and that the Klingon Empire had a tendency to use the Federation as a "bogeyman" to distract from internal problems, while K'Ragh, son of D'Ward thought that the Federation was unwilling to fully commit to its obligations to assist the Empire against its enemies. (The War of the Masters: "Looking Through Enemy Eyes")

Romulan Star Empire[]

In Rihan, the Federation was formally referred to as the Temanna nnea Rehvieen, literally "Union of Worlds". However, it was colloquially named Lloann'mhrahel, meaning "them, from there". (Bait and Switch: "Emael Mosekhesailho"; TOS novel: The Romulan Way)

See also[]

External links[]