The Enclave is a state that developed from continuity of government of the pre-War federal government of the United States, frequently styling itself as the United States of America. Prior to the War, the founders of the Enclave operated as an informal secret organization of the same name. They were comprised of members of the U.S shadow government and military industrial complex. Relative to other human societies throughout the wasteland, it was among the smallest. Control Station Enclave, the single largest concentration of Enclave population in the wasteland, was home to between a hundred and a thousand inhabitants. By comparison, the largest city in the wasteland built from scratch, Shady Sands, is home to 3,000 citizens alone.
Since at least the 2140s, the Enclave's ideology is rooted in the conviction that its members are the sole representatives of humanity: Unlike humans outside the Enclave's shielded facilities, few, if any, members of the Enclave were exposed to nuclear fallout and other harmful factors present in the wasteland. As a result, the Enclave is xenophobic, isolationist and limited in numbers, as it forbids outside recruitment of any kind. Whenever their preserved pre-War technology cannot compensate for these shortages, the Enclave will liberally use waste-landers as conscripted assets and slaves. Regardless of services rendered, the Enclave considers humans outside its ranks as equal to super mutants and ghouls: Abominations to be destroyed so that "true humanity" could take its place as the "real" America.
The Enclave exercises control of a number of military bases scattered across the former U.S. However, their primary strongholds were destroyed by various factions throughout the 23rd century, including their headquarters and capital in 2242 and again in 2278.