The United Federation of Planets is a federation of more than 150 member planets and thousands of colonies in the fictional Star Trek universe.


Loosely based on the United Nations, the Federation stresses the values of peace and cooperation. One of their most important precepts is the Prime Directive. It is led by the Federation President. Earth and Vulcan were founding members of the Federation, but founding members may also include the planets of Alpha Centauri and Andor, and the home planet of the Tellarites. Starfleet is the military and exploration corps of the Federation.

The Federation is opposed at various times by the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, the Cardassians, the Borg, and the Dominion.

Note: this page combines the timelines of the various Star Trek series, including retcons that construct periods of Star Trek future history not mentioned in the first series. It also contains speculation from fans and backstage sources that are not canon.

The history of the Federation

Pre-Federation history

Although no single individual is responsible for the foundation of the United Federation of Planets, Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive is indirectly responsible for the event.

The Federation mainly evolved from Earth history and in 2043 the Third World War (between the United States of America and a successor state of the USSR called the Eastern Coalition) erupted. It lasted for ten years and 600 million people perished in the nuclear war. In 2053 a uneasy truce was signed. Around this time Zefram Cochrane began his construction of the first warp capable vessel of humanity, the Phoenix.

On April 5 2063 at 11:15 Cochrane made humanity's first warp flight. His warp signatures were detected by a Vulcan survey ship which landed in the evening and made First Contact with humanity. The Vulcans repaired the nuclear damage done to Earth and Zefram Cochrane inaugurated an era of peace in which poverty and disease would become non-existent. In the years after 2063 most of Earth's remaining states were disbanded, most notably the United States. Cochrane's warp design was applied to all Earth spacecraft and human colonies were formed at Mars and beyond.

Exploration of space gradually continued and in 2150 Earth was finally united when Australia surrendered its independence. In 2151, an Earth organization known as Starfleet Command launched an exploratory vessel NX-01 Enterprise, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

In 2158 the USS Balboa encountered the xenophobic Romulans and humanity's first interstellar war followed. Although on the brink of victory, the Romulan Star Empire suffered its greatest defeat ever in the Battle of Cheron in 2160. The Romulans signed a peace treaty establishing the Romulan Neutral Zone.

Early Federation period

On August 12 2161 the Vulcans, Andorians, Tellarites and Earth founded the United Federation of Planets, an organization based on exploration and interstellar peace. In 2218 the first major first contact with another extra-terrestrial race, the Klingons, was made. The first contact was unsuccessful and a century-long war erupted. In the 2260s the actions of James T. Kirk, the captain of the Starship Enterprise helped the Federation gain the upper hand. In 2265 the Organian Peace Treaty was signed which ended major engagements, but the two intergalactic powers remained in a state of cold war. In 2293 the moon Praxis, orbiting the Klingon homeworld Qo'noS, exploded destroying the Empire's economy and military capacity. Chancellor Gorkon initiated peace talks but en route to the conference he was assassinated by Klingons opposed to the peace process. His daughter Azetbur continued the conference against all odds, and as a result the Khitomer Accords were signed effectively ending the war.

Early-24th century history

The Khitomer Accords significantly reduced the tensions between the Klingon Empire and the Federation and two decades of relative peace followed. But in 2311 the Tomed Incident occurred in which thousands of Starfleet personnel died and Romulan outposts disappeared. The unrest was ended by the Treaty of Algeron which re-affirmed the Neutral Zone and prohibited Federation development of cloaking technology. From the 2320's onward the development of the Ambassador class triggered a new period of Federation exploration. Large parts of the Alpha and Beta Quadrant were charted.

In 2345 the Romulan Star Empire launched an assault on the Klingon outpost at Narendra III but the attack was thwarted by the USS Enterprise-C under the command of Captain Rachel Garrett (in an alternate timeline none of this happened and this had unforeseen consequences). Although the Enterprise-C was lost with all hands the Klingons saw its destruction to save them as a brave and honourable deed and relations were significantly improved.

Mid-24th century history

In 2363, the Federation's finest flagship, Galaxy class USS Enterprise-D was launched under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. They continued the fine tradition of its predecessors to go boldly where no one has gone before.

In 2365, the Federation had first formal contact with the Borg (previous accounts of the Borg were sketchy at best), who soon later threatened the existence of the Federation, at the Battle of Wolf 359. Other events of this era include the Klingon Civil War, the meeting of Q, and various time travel incidents.

The Cardassian War

Around the same time the Federation made contact with a race called the Cardassians. There were no diplomatic problems until the Federation found out the Cardassians had brutally enslaved the Bajorans. Disputes over territory arose and in 2347 war was declared by the Cardassians. The war was lengthy and bloody, but the Federation being technologically superior won the war and in 2366 the Demilitarized Zone was established between the empires. Because of this, some Federation and Cardassian colonies were situated in each others territory, therefore an agreement was reached for the transfer of those colonies.

But some Federation colonists were opposed to the agreement and formed the Maquis, a rebel movement who resisted the Cardassians in the area.

Dominion War

In 2373, the Federation and Klingon Empire engaged in war with the Dominion and the Cardassians. Deep Space Nine, the Cardassian fortress reconfigured for Federation use, was one of the most pivotal locations for the war. In 2375, the war had included the Romulans and the Breen, and in a turning point for the quadrant, the Cardassians turned on their Dominion rulers, assisting the Federation Alliance to win the war against the Dominion.

Possible future

Prominent in some possible timelines is the Temporal Cold War, 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 space.

By the 31st century, indications are that the Federation no longer exists. One location on Earth had a statue in its honor.

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