Federation

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The United Federation of Planets, also referred to as the Federation or UFP, is an interstellar nation composed of planetary governments and colonies. The various members of the Federation are organized under the unifying goals of universal liberty, equality, peaceful coexistence, trade, science, exploration, and mutual defense. Its territory encompasses at least several dozen sectors in both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, spread across nearly 8,000 light-years of space. As of 2373, there were more than 150 members of the Federation, and over 1,000 semi-autonomous colonies. Many of the Federation member worlds were originally Human colonies, which is the reason Humans make up the majority of Starfleet membership.

The Federation is currently one of the most powerful interstellar organizations of the Alpha Quadrant. Unlike the vast majority of other major and regional empires, where power is derived from a single dominant race that subjugates other nearby planets and species, all members of the Federation have joined willingly and coexist equally with the other members. Although its multispecies origin has caused it to be labeled a "mongrel" power by some outsiders, its diverse origins have also given it a unique strength over the past 200 years.

Apparently, the Federation is also famous for its technological resources and personnel. In particular, Federation engineers are respected as masters of technology repair and modification, even by enemies of the organization, such as the Dominion.

History

The Federation was founded in 2161, in San Francisco on Earth, shortly after and partially as a result of the end of the Earth-Romulan War, by the signing of the Federation Charter by the members of the then Coalition of Planets. The seeds of the Federation sprouted during a temporary alliance in 2154] during the search for a Romulan drone ship. That is when Vulcans, Humans, Andorians and Tellarites first united for a common cause. This led to the founding of the Coalition of Planets a year later, when Earth, Vulcan, Andor, Tellar, Denobula, Rigel V, Coridan, and several other worlds united in a common economic union. The Coalition continued towards unity over the next several years, and this ultimately led to the formation of the Federation after the Earth-Romulan War.

Although the Federation's intentions were peaceful, its policies of expansion almost inevitably brought it into conflict with other races in the region. In the 23rd century, the most notable conflict was with the Klingon Empire, and war briefly erupted in 2266, before being halted by the Organians. However, this tension eased considerably towards the end of the century, with the Khitomer Conference of 2293 being a substantial turning point. As the 24th century opened, the Federation began an unprecedented period of peaceful exploration of the galaxy, without any major conflicts along its borders.

A series of local conflicts flared in the late 2340s, with the Federation encountering races such as the Cardassians, the Talarians, the Sheliak, the Tholians, and other minor regional powers like the Tzenkethi. These conflicts were short-lived, in no small part due to the power exerted by Starfleet at that time.

But the darkest period in Federation history was soon to arrive. First contact with the Borg Collective led to a series of attacks on Federation outposts. The Battle of Wolf 359 saw Starfleet dealt a crippling blow, taking many years to even partially recover. The Federation soon learned that the enemies they had dealt with in the past were nothing compared to the powerful forces found elsewhere in the galaxy.

In the 2370s, contact was made with the Dominion, the ruling power of the Gamma Quadrant. After numerous skirmishes, the Dominion allied itself with the Cardassian Union, and launched an invasion of the Alpha Quadrant. The war that followed was the greatest crisis in Federation history. Although the Allied forces eventually emerged victorious, many of the Federation's important member worlds - including Betazed, Coridan, and Benzar - had been temporarily occupied before the Dominion's offensive could be turned back. Thousands of starships and millions of lives were lost, in what was the most bloody conflict in recent history.

However, the war and its aftermath allowed the Federation to establish new relations with many of its former adversaries. In particular, relations with the Romulan Star Empire improved dramatically, marking the beginnings of détente with a traditional enemy of the Federation.

Government

The government of the Federation is organized as a federal republic, where the member planets and colonies form semi-autonomous districts. Central authority in the Federation is delegated to the three branches of the Federation government: the Federation Council, the legislative branch of the government; the President of the United Federation of Planets, the executive and head of state; and the Federation Supreme Court, the supreme judicial authority. The Council meets in San Francisco, while the President's offices are located in Paris. The current President is Nanietta Bacco of Cestus III.

Economy

The Federation has a massive economy, built around large scale, inexpensive production of almost all consumer goods. No money is used for all basic expenses, such as food, clothing and shelter. The basic unit of exchange is the Federation credit. 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 mid-to-late 24th century drastically changed the orientation of the economy, as matter-energy conversion reduced the cost of most small- to medium-scale objects to practically nothing. Large-scale construction is efficiently handled, as well.

The driving force of Federation society is no longer the acquisition of wealth, but rather self-enhancement and the benefit of all. Perhaps ironically, entrepreneurship is encouraged, although the primary goal of most ventures is no longer turning a profit. They are intended for personal enjoyment and improvement.

The various systems of the Federation are generally rich in natural resources, although their intrinsic worth has changed as the replicators reduced the need for most refined and semi-refined materials. Other materials, such as latinum, which are more time and energy demanding are often traded for with non-Federation planets. Currently, one of the most valuable minerals is dilithium, which is critical in regulating the matter-antimatter reactions in the Federation's power generators.

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The information on this page is based on the page of the same name located at Memory Alpha. All credits goes to the contributors of that fine site.