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The United States federal government was the main governing body of the United States of America before the Great War, after which elements and divisions were adapted or continued by the Enclave.



Before the war, the Enclave 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. Its members acted as lobbyists for major American corporations like Vault-Tec Corporation, General Atomics International, and RobCo Industries. They believed that as long as the "important people" of the United States survived, they could regroup quickly and build a better world without the threat posed by China or anyone else to the American way of life.

In March 2077, the Enclave and last president established itself on the Poseidon Energy oil-drilling platform known as Control Station ENCLAVE, situated off the coast of San Francisco.[Non-game 1] This location was discovered by the Boston-based newspaper Boston Bugle.[2] In the event of a nuclear war, this was intended to ensure the continuity of the U.S. government's leadership.

Post-War, 2077–2241

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."[3] By 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.

Fallout Bible Presidential powers accorded to the leader of the Enclave included presidential orders, that concerned military research and data protection, such as in power armor research, while presidential directives could concern the Enclave's armed forces conditioning and testing programs, such as with the conditioning of Horrigan. Presidential decisions could concern major scientific projects of the Enclave connected to military actions, as seen with procuring Vault 13 inhabitants as test subjects.[Non-game 2][Non-game 3][Non-game 4]

The president 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.

A Cabinet is mentioned in the address 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.

There were some executive agencies present after the Great War, such as the Secret Service and the Atomic Energy Commission. NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is mentioned by Vice President Daniel Bird.[4] The United States Armed Forces were present and its Enclave patrols at the Navarro perimeter also acted as a border patrol.

The judicial or legislative branches mirrored after the war is only mentioned in terms of courts-martials performed by officers of the Enclave's armed forces.[5]

Post-War, 2242–2277

The destruction of the Enclave's oil-drilling platform off the coast of California in 2242, following the Chosen One’s assassination of the Enclave's President of the United States, erased all trace of President Dick Richardson from history.[6] However, some remnants of the Enclave survived, and they would come to be led by Autumn Senior, a high ranking Enclave scientist by 2277.

A new self-proclaimed 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 after the destruction of the Enclave's oil rig in 2242, Augustus Autumn stated Eden was next in the chain of command.[7]

President Eden ordered Autumn to relocate the Enclave's military forces from California to the pre-War government shelter Site R, as unbeknownst to everyone save Autumn, Eden is a pre-War ZAX supercomputer built within the Raven Rock base.

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 a clear timetable. According to speeches made on Enclave Radio, there was still some form of Congress at this time.

Executive branch

In the years prior to the Great War, the executive branch was headed by the last President of the United States, who worked with his Cabinet. It included multiple departments and agencies with the intended goal of executing the laws of the country.

Known departments

Known agencies

Judicial branch

Legislative branch

Congressional keycard

Known government members

Executive branch

Legislative branch

Behind the scenes


  1. FO1 WB commercial Great Seal.pngSeal as seen in a war bonds advertisement in the Fallout intro
  2. Boston Bugle building terminal entries; Boston Bugle article terminal, Article 4
  3. The Chosen One: "{223}{}{What happened to Matt?}"
    ACE: "{224}{}{Loading sequence...}"
    Matthew: "{227}{}{You and your so-called President will not succeed.}"
    Frank Horrigan: "{228}{}{Is that so?}"
    Matthew: "{229}{}{The Chosen One has come, and he will rid the world of your evil.}"
    Frank Horrigan: "{230}{}{I care nothing for your pathetic prophecies. Worse, you have become a nusiance In-game spelling through your meddling. That ends today!}"
    Matthew: "{231}{}{Killing me will stop nothing.}"
    Frank Horrigan: "{232}{}{That may be, but seeing your body rotting on the ground will bring a smile to my face.}"
    (ACE's information)
    Note: This is the transcript of a cutscene in the San Francisco Brotherhood outpost, at the conclusion of the vertibird plans quest.
  4. Daniel Bird: "{171}{}{For NASA, space is still a high priority.}"
    (Daniel Bird's dialogue)
  5. Arcade Gannon: "If I had to pick anyone who didn't belong in the Enclave, it would definitely be Johnson. He hated what the Enclave was doing. Day to day, week to week, he would question orders, subvert mission objectives, do anything he could to serve without serving. It's amazing he was never court-martialed. He always had good things to say about my father. Said I was like him in a lot of ways. I wish I knew."
    (Arcade Gannon's dialogue)
  6. Fallout 2 ending slides, Enclave: "The destruction of the Enclave erased all trace of President Richardson from history. Now the title of "President" is used as a bogeyman to frighten children."
  7. The Lone Wanderer: "My point is that your government isn't legitimate. You have no right to rule."
    Augustus Autumn: "I see. And what of the chain of command? When the Enclave fell on the west coast, Eden was next in line for leadership."
    (Augustus Autumn's dialogue)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Census taker: "You may send complaints with this use of force to the Census Bureau's department of Citizen Complaint and Oversight."
    (Census taker's dialogue)
  9. War game orders
  10. Covert Operations Manual collage
  11. Sign seen at Black Mountain Ordnance Works
  12. Internment orders
  13. Hoover Dam map
  14. Power plant operations
  15. Shanghai Sally: Berkeley Springs
  16. Patriot's Cookbook
  17. H&H Tools Factory terminal entries; Alan Dalton's terminal, E-mail from Jenny DeSoto
  18. Vault locations v34.129
  19. National Archives terminal entries; JWILS002 John Wilson, Unit Directives
  20. See Sierra Depot GNN transcript for more details
  21. Robot repair center terminal entries; Sector A emergency terminal, Note from Management regarding Sector B
  22. The Sam Blackwell interview
  23. Sam Blackwell: "No" on Measure 6
  24. Senate orientation letter
  25. Charleston Capitol Building terminal entries; Senator Blackwell's terminal, Appointments
  26. St. Aubin medical facility terminal entries; terminal, To: Doctor Stewart
  27. 27.0 27.1 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)
  28. Committee meeting notes
  29. Charleston Capitol Building terminal entries; Senator Blackwell's terminal, Energy Meeting
  30. Department of Ag projects
  31. Senate employee ID let M.A.R.Go.T. identify the Lone Wanderer as a senator
  32. Alien captive recorded log 15
  1. Fallout Bible 0: "2077 March Prepared for a nuclear or biological attack from China, the president and the Enclave retreats to remote sections around the globe and make contingency plans for continuing the war."
  2. Fallout Bible page 24: "Under Presidential Order, Enclave scientists begin to work on an upgraded version of Power Armor. Many prototypes are developed and tested."
  3. Fallout Bible page 25: "Horrigan has always been loyal to the Presidency, to the Enclave, and the armed forces - this loyalty was present before his exposure to FEV, and it was reinforced by Presidential Directive through various conditioning and testing programs developed by the Enclave. Horrigan's low Intelligence (which was further damaged by the FEV exposure) made these conditioning programs take root easily."
  4. Fallout Bible page 212-213: "The computer networks weren't able to access all the Vaults remotely after the war - like the network log in the computer in the Gecko reactor, most links between systems were shut down or destroyed. They were the ones who sent the 'all-clear' to the Vault 8 Overseer, though, which Lynette tries to explain - and can't. They also were able to transmit an 'all-clear' signal to Vault 13, getting them to open the door. Once the President made the decision to go take the V13 inhabitants as test subjects, the vertibird teams scrambled, sent the signal and waited. No one did a search on all the PIPBoys."
  5. Pip-Boy 2000 Mk VI FM radio module
  6. Boston Bugle Volume 12
  1. Tibbets Prison design documents, page 7: "In designing this facility we are applying state of the art design and equipment, as it exists today, borrowing heavily from the experiences that the Federal Bureau of Prisons and several state prison systems encountered when designing and building prisons."
  2. Armstrong: "You see Corporal Armstrong of the Great Midwest Commonwealth 13th Armored Infantry Division."
    (Armstrong's dialogue)
  3. Tibbets Prison design documents, page 7: "The United States Penitentiary (USP), Tibbets is located on 1,583 square acres with 22.8 inside the penitentiary walls. It is an all-male high security level facility committed to carrying out the judgments of the Federal Courts. It provides a safe, secure and humane environment for those offenders committed to its custody. Like all Bureau facilities, Tibbets adheres to a balanced philosophy that recognizes that punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation are all valid purposes of confinement. Opportunities for positive change are provided through work, education, training, and counseling for inmates motivated toward self-improvement."
  4. Maxson bunker design documents, page 3: "In the year 2067, Senator Todd Peterson decided to build a secret bunker to house himself and his family should war break out. Senator Peterson was a wealthy man in his own right, but lacked the funds necessary for such a project. Through secret dealings with Poseidon Oil and a covert branch of the government known as the Enclave, the final funding for the project was attained. A construction sight was chosen in southern Colorado and work began."