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From The Vault

Halt! This is federal property! No admittance without proper authorization

Navarro gate guard

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

Great Seal of the United States at war bonds advertisment

Executive branch

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

  • uncertainly named federal department or departments responsible for the United States' national security which may be separate or the same agency:[1]:
    • War Department - referred to in the Maxson Log as present in year 2077,
    • Department of Defense - connected with HERMES armor research[2] and mentioned by "Faction Profile – the Brotherhood of Steel"[3] together with Pentagon. Defense Department was mentioned as well by West Tech Research Facility mainframe, as present in year 2076.
The Secretary of the Army was mentioned at Tibbets design document as present in 2040[4]. According to Van Buren tech demo plot the federal government could exercise only limited power over the units of the U.S. Army, thus according to their names at least some Armored Infantry Divisions actually belonged to the American commonwealths rather than the federal government, a situation similar to that of the state volunteer regiments raised by the states and placed into federal service during the American Civil War of the nineteenth century.
  • uncertainly named federal department or departments responsible for energy and power:
Moreover Atomic Energy Commision was present in the year 2241[7].

Legislative branch

Congress mentions:

  • In February 15, 2075 both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted unanimously to impeach the President for jaywalking[15],
  • The complete books of the Library of Congress were packed in the G.E.C.K.,
  • Senator Todd Peterson was mentioned[16].

District of Columbia affairs[17] - District of Columbia Transport Authority[18].

Judicial branch

Federal Courts were mentioned in the Tibbets design document.


There was a covert branch of the legal U.S. government that acted as a shadow government,and intended to launch a coup d'etat 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.[19].

Post-Great War succession[20]

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[21].

  • 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 offline[22], there was the large Crater in 2253[23].
  • 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 Presedent"[24].
  • 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 la enforcement mechanism.[25].
  • The federal government[26] 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.[27].

Enclave Operations, 2077-2241

Executive branch

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[28]while Presidential Directives could concern the Enclave's armed forces conditioning and testing programs[29].
  • Presidential decisions could concern major scientific projects of the Enclave connected to military actions[30].

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.[31].

There was a Cabinet mentioned also. It was the addresse 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 the Enclave's oil rig.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[32].

There were some executive agencies present after the Great War, like the Secret Service, the Atomic Energy Commission[33], National Aeronautics and Space Administration (also referred to as the United States Space Agency)[34] and the Environmental Protection Agency[35]. The United States Armed Forces were present and its Enclave Patrols at the Navarro perimeter also acted as border police.

Legislative branch

The Vice President of the United States was present on the Enclave's oil rig[36] (he shall be President of the Senate)[37]. 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.[38].

Judicial branch

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).[39]

After the destruction of the Enclave oil rig, 2242-2277

The destruction of the Enclave's oil-drilling platform off the coast of California in 2242, following[40] the Chosen One’s assassination of the Enclave’s President of the United States, erased all trace of President Dick Richardson from history[41]. 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, eg. 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[42]. The commander of the remaining Enclave military forces was Augustus Autumn, who had risen to the rank of Colonel by 2077[43].

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 sirvived[44] 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 advisor 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[45]. It is not certain if Eden was a member of President Richardson's Cabinet[46]. 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. It seems even Eden was not aware that he was in fact a computer and not human. In 2277, Colonel Autumn rebelled against President Eden and revealed his AI identity to the rest of the Enclave members[47].

Without a truly legal and constitutionally elected President of the United States, the forces of the Enclave forces were never more than just another paramilitary Wastelands factions claiming descent from the United States armed forces--similar in many ways to the Brotherhood of Steel--but far more malevolent in tactics and ultimate intent.


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. Because of the timeline Divergence that occured in the 1940's or 1950's it is sure only that in the Fallout world the United States Constitution's content would be the identical to that in the real-world document up to the Twenty-first Amendment. After that point there were guaranteed to be substantial differences.

See also


  1. in real world War Department was subsumed by Department of the Army in 1945, renamed in 1947 into Department of Defense
  2. Van Buren
  3. Fallout 3
  4. Van Buren
  5. Fallout Bible
  6. however it could be just Vault-Tech branch
  7. Fallout 2, in real world created in 1977
  8. 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
  9. mentioned with its refrigerator only at FREEZER.MSG
  10. Van Buren
  11. referred in Fallout 3, however National Aeronautics and Space Administration was referred in Fallout 2
  12. according to its real-world status
  13. Fallout Bible, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency was cabinet level administration officer
  14. Fallout 3, in real world: wikipedia:National Archives and Records Administration
  15. 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
  16. Van Buren, Maxson Bunker design document
  17. 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)
  18. Fallout 3
  19. Van Buren
  20. constitutional foundation for United States presidential line of succession were Article II, Section 1 and Section 3 of the 20th Amendment (1933), as well as the 25th Amendment (1967), see: wikipedia:United States presidential line of succession
  21. Fallout Bible
  22. Fallout 2
  23. Van Buren
  24. Brotherhood of Steel origined 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'es detachment in first decades of XXIII century was an irony of fate
  25. Fallout 3, Raven Rock base content before Autumn arrival is not certain
  26. or whatever branch of federal government was responsible - it was not necessarily the Enclave
  27. 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.
  28. known example - power armor research
  29. known example - Horrigan's conditioning, see also: wikipedia:Executive order (United States)
  30. known example - decision to go take the Vault 13 inhabitants as test subjects for the Project, which scrambled the vertibird unit
  31. Fallout Bible, it seems the 22nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1951) didn't work (if existed or not repealled) - in real world it also prevents a President from being elected more than twice
  32. very likely Cabinet present in the Enclave was minimally staffed
  33. 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 Commision
  34. mentioned by Vice President 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 refered in Fallout 3; in real world NASA is independent agency created in 1958
  35. EPA branch in California in fact with no human staff nad no Enclave presence - Fallout Bible
  36. Fallout 2
  37. Article one, Section three, Clause four
  38. finally Congressman Richardson was elected president for the first term of five on March 5th 2220
  39. Fallout 2
  40. possibly
  41. according to Fallout 2 ending file for Richardson
  42. eg. elements of verti-assault unit
  43. his exact rank and position in year 2242 is not certain
  44. according to Eden
  45. 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
  46. Fallout 3 character - never appeared in Fallout 2; if not a member of Cabinet nor Congress he had no presidential succession entitlement accorording to real world laws
  47. President's AI identity wasn't cause of rebellion however

This article uses material from the "Federal government" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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