United Federation of Planets
From Hidden Frontier
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The United Federation of Planets was founded in 2161 ("The Outcast," TNG; "Zero Hour," ENT) in San Francisco on Earth, shortly after and partially as a result of the end of the Earth-Romulan War. Although the Federation's intentions were peaceful, its expansion resulted in many conflicts, including with the Klingon Empire.
A series of short-lived, local conflicts flared in the late 2340s, with the Federation encountering races such as the Cardassian Union, the Talarians, the Sheliak, the Tholians, and other minor regional powers like the Tzenkethi.
But the darkest period in Federation history occurred after the Borg attacked several Federation outposts, leading to The Battle of Wolf 359 ("The Best of Both Worlds," TNG). 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, through the Bajoran wormhole to 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. Despite the Allied forces of the Federation, Klingons, Bajoran Militia, and the Romulan Star Empire 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 (DS9).
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 in 2379, marking the beginnings of détente with a traditional enemy of the Federation. ("Star Trek: Nemesis").
Unfortunately, peace was not to last long as the Grey Confederacy slowly began to attack Federation colonies and Starfleet vessels near the Briar Patch starting in 2375 and increasing to the present day. In 2381, the Tholians and the Breen Confederacy formed an alliance to gain the secrets of the powerful tetrahedrons inside the Patch, even sending a diversionary assault to Earth at the heart of the Federation in Sector 001 (aka Sol Sector) while they attempted to run a Federation Starfleet blockade and destroy the various fleets in the sector and Deep Space 12.
However, aid from the Dominion, now 8 years after the Dominion War, turned back the tide to protect life and property. But the Tholian-Breen Alliance used the currents inside the Patch to gain a larger foothold ("The Battle is Joined"; "Countermeasures").