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關於the Fallout 4 setting,參見The Commonwealth
關於the multi-national European organization,參見European Commonwealth

The thirteen commonwealths of the United States were created in 1969, as a new division of government.[1] Both state and commonwealth names were used to describe regions and governmental entities before and after the Great War. In Massachusetts, the foundation of the Thirteen Commonwealths resulted in the discontinuation of the use of the local State House.[1] In Appalachia, federal documents use the distinction "Territory of Appalachia."[2][3]

Confirmed commonwealths

There are a total of thirteen commonwealths covering the United States of America. Only the following two have been mentioned in released, canon games.

Great Midwest Commonwealth

FNV License plate EDE.png

  • ED-E's pre-War Illinois license plate reads "Great Midwest" across the top.[4]

Southwest Commonwealth

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  • Appalachia's status within the commonwealth system is unclear. A terminal entry makes reference to Watoga (part of Appalachia) being in an unnamed commonwealth.[5] The region as a whole is referred to by many different names throughout Fallout 76, with multiple variations on a "Territory of Appalachia."[6] A special election poster for "Senator of the Appalachia Territories" has a background featuring six states: Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.[7]
  • Two states are formally referred to as commonwealths, a distinction unrelated to the thirteen commonwealths, including:
    • Massachusetts is formally known as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as per its constitution, and the name was retained even past the formation of the thirteen commonwealths. The state became known only as "the Commonwealth" following the Great War.[8]
    • Virginia, formally the Commonwealth of Virginia, is referenced by Jack Smith even in 2277.[9]

Behind the scenes

From the unofficial J.E. Sawyer's Fallout Role-Playing Game

  • The idea of dividing the United States into thirteen commonwealths originated during Fallout's development (1997). According to Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky did not wish to use the regular 50-star flag and instead used the 13-star design because "it looked cool," and planned to explain it as it being divided into 13 super-states, but the explanation never materialized.[Non-game 1]
  • The commonwealths were planned to be expanded on in Van Buren. The tech demo (2003) includes an U.S. soldier serving in a division of the Great Midwest Commonwealth. Following its cancellation, Joshua Sawyer published a breakdown of the commonwealths and their constituent states in his unofficial RPG (2004), explaining that the commonwealths were an intermediate level of government between the state and federal powers created in the early 21st century, the purpose being to help create legislation broad enough to affect states with common concerns, but narrow enough to leave dissimilar states alone.[Non-canon 1] In reality, it created even more strife, as commonwealths typically did everything they could to promote their own interests at the expense of other commonwealths.[Non-canon 1] Sawyer's commonwealths include:

J.E. Sawyer's Fallout Role-Playing Game

  • Commonwealths were first explicitly mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas (2010), with the Great Midwest Commonwealth and the Southwest Commonwealth being named in-game. In Fallout 4 (2015), the commonwealth foundation date was established as 1969, which differs from the "early twenty-first century" date of establishment from Joshua Sawyer's unofficial RPG.
  • The Columbia Commonwealth is also mentioned on official Bethesda store merchandise, within a certificate of ownership for a Nuka-Cola delivery truck.[Non-game 2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Massachusetts State House plaque: "The 'new' state house was completed in 1798 to house the government of the state of Massachusetts. The land selected was originally John Hancock’s cow pastures. The first dome was constructed of wooden shingles and covered in copper smelted by Paul Revere. The state government used this building continuously until the formation of the Thirteen Commonwealths in 1969."
  2. Senate orientation letter
  3. Valid ballot
  4. ED-E's license plate
  5. AMS corporate headquarters terminal entries; Security terminal, 10-24-76: Re: Hey Stranger!: "Riley, I had no idea that you were still in the commonwealth, let alone in Watoga!"
  6. See Appalachia's behind the scenes section for references.
  7. Special election poster. White silhouettes of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee appear in the background of the poster, presented at an angle.
  8. Fallout 4 loading screens: "Originally 'The Commonwealth of Massachusetts,' the state became known only as the 'The Commonwealth' after the Great War of 2077."
  9. The Lone Wanderer: "Virginia? Virginia's been gone for 200 years."
    Jack Smith: "Not here. Not in Andale, no sir/ma'am. The great Commonwealth of Virginia is alive and well. In fact, we just voted ourselves a new governor!"
    (Jack Smith's dialogue)
Non-game sources
  1. Tim Cain in Fallout Bible 8: "Leon said he used that flag because it looked cool and he didn't want to use a standard American flag with 50 stars. Eventually, he planned to make up something about 13 super-states or something, but he never did."
  2. Nuka-Cola delivery truck; Unique certificate of ownership
Non-canon sources