As decades passed, what had been the American southwest united beneath the flag of the New California Republic, dedicated to old-world values of democracy and the rule of law. As the Republic grew, so did its needs. Scouts spread east, seeking territory and wealth in the dry and merciless expanse of the Mojave desert.”— Ron the Narrator, Fallout: New Vegas intro
The Republic's roots can be traced to Vault 15. This pre-War shelter was home to a population composed of people from radically different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Closed in 2077, it opened due to population pressure in spring of 2097, releasing its occupants into the wasteland. While a large portion of the Vault inhabitants that left the overcrowded Vault would band into raider tribes as the winter of 2098 came (marking the beginning of the Khans, Vipers, and Jackals), the remaining vault dwellers would found Shady Sands in the spring of 2098. The town used its G.E.C.K. well. No one expected that these humble beginning would eventually culminate in the formation of the mighty New California Republic.
The settlement prospered. In 2161, the Vault Dweller destroyed the Khans, rescuing Tandi in the process. As a result, the small settlement enjoyed a period of peace, as raiders gave it a wide berth. Aradesh used this opportunity to develop the community. The village thrived, eventually becoming an economic power within New California. As trade routes developed, so did cultural exchange. This lead to the emergence of a national identity movement which gradually gained popular acceptance. In 2186 the New California Republic was founded by Aradesh and Tandi. A trial council government was formed to draft a constitution. The ideals of the NCR would spread throughout California steadfast, with Junktown becoming one of the first provisional states of the New California Republic, due to its status as one of Shady Sand's oldest and most trusted trade partners. Though the alliance cause some concern in the Hub, ultimately it had little effect on the relations. In 2189 the Republic was voted into existence as a federation of five states: Shady, Los Angeles, Maxson, Hub, and Dayglow.
The Republic Thrives
Aradesh died in 2196 and his daughter was elected unanimously as the second President of the New California Republic. She continues to serve ten terms, winning all consecutive elections until her death. As President, Tandi does more to unite the wasteland than any other leader born after the Great War, including rebuilding the pre-War infrastructure to support the growing population, finding new forms of transportation and manufacturing, clearing roads and rail lines, building forts, fostering caravans and trade inside and outside of the Republic, as well as dealing with threats swiftly and efficiently. By 2241, the Republic was the largest economic and political power in the wastelands. Much of its power was provided by its vast brahmin herds, which provide meat, leather, beasts of burden, and other goods for trade. With the situation south stabilized, President Tandi intended to expand north. However, the former northern California became an arena where the NCR struggled to dominate its two rivals: Vault City and New Reno. Tandi also faced opposition to her politics of peaceful expansion, with Vault 15 acting as proving ground.
The geopolitical struggle centered around the town of Redding, the regions primary supplier of gold ore. When the Republic switched to dollars as currency, backing them with gold, the mining city became the key to the trade in the entire New California. Whomever controls the supply of gold, controls the currency. Redding was lucky enough to remain far away enough to make a military takeover uneconomic. The three powers instead decided to make the city align with one of them through agents operating in the city, either planted ones (Painless Doc Johnson) or voluntary supporters (Marge LeBarge and Dan McGrew). By 2241, the situation was slowly approaching a critical phase. In January, the first Jet batches began to arrive in Redding as part of a plan by the Mordino family to control the mining city through drugs. Vault City rejected an offer to ally with the Bishop family and the NCR in February, with mercenary attacks designed to bully the City into the alliance beginning a month later. All this was set against the backdrop of the worst dry season in years caused a drought in North California, causing widespread food shortages in the less developed areas, such as Arroyo and Modoc.
Throughout his journeys, the Chosen One was the decisive factor that secured the Republic's expansion in the north, resolving the dispute for Vault 15 in the Republic's favor and vindicating Tandi's expansion policies.Not only that, but under John Bishop's lead, New Reno would ultimately join the Republic as a territory, enjoying a large degree of autonomy. New Arroyo, Redding, and Vault City would also become territories of the NCR. The Republic would further secure its interests by attacking remnants of the Enclave within a few years of the destruction of the Enclave's oil rig in 2242. Navarro would fall to the Republic's army and with it caches of weapons and numerous Vertibirds.
President Tandi died in 2248, after a period of illness. Vice-President Joanna Tibbett assumed office, after Tandi's uninterrupted 52 years of reign. Five years later, in 2253, she was removed from office by a vote of no confidence following her "timid" response to the massacre of 38 NCR citizens at the hands of Mojave raiders in the Bullhead City area. Her replacement, President Wendell Peterson, ordered three battalions of NCR infantry into that area of the Mojave in retaliation.
The deployment at Owens Lake in 2269 preceded the completion of the campaign in 2270. After seventeen years of warfare, the NCR completed the removal of tribes from the areas surrounding Bullhead City. The campaign, known as the Pacification of the Mojave, elevates General Aaron Kimball to the status of a national hero. A year later, in 2271, the Rangers of the NCR and the Desert Rangers merged after the Ranger Unification Treaty was signed. The NCR starts focusing on the East as it continues to expand. In 2272 the Mojave Outpost is set up as NCR's first outpost in the Mojave Desert.
In 2273, General Aaron Kimball retired from the military to pursue a life in politics. After a successful run for the seat of a Hub Congressman, he is voted in as President just two months into his term, replacing Wendell Peterson. Kimball solidified his power base by ordering the occupation of the Hoover Dam as his first act of office in 2274. When electricity and power flowed into the Republic eleven months later, his popularity among the citizenry soared. He also enjoyed great popularity among the wealthy, powerful men of the Stockmen's Association and Republican Farmer's Committee to grow even more powerful, the so-called Brahmin Barons and Agri-Barons. The reason for this was simple: Kimball overturned President Tandi's laws limiting the acreage of fields and number of cattle heads a single man could own.
The annexation of the Mojave, originally intended to be quick and painless, proved to be the exact opposite. Faced by the Caesar's Legion and an unexpected political rival in the form of Robert House, the NCR negotiated with the ruler of New Vegas and his employees, the Three Families. The resulting Treaty of New Vegas stabilized the situation in the Mojave: the NCR was allowed to move into the region in full force, establish military bases, and draw 95% of the power output from Hoover Dam for the Republic. In return, the Strip would remain independent, the Republic would not prevent its citizens from visiting Vegas, and a nominal 5% of the Dam's output would be directed to power the city.
By 2275, the NCR established Camp McCarran, deploying into the region in full force. Its new expansionism was openly criticized and opposed by the Followers of the Apocalypse, who helped the Republic in the past. In response, the NCR leadership withdrew their support for the organization, choosing instead to rely on themselves. The Office of Science and Industry was formed as a result, with help from dissenting Followers.
The Brotherhood War
The expansion of the NCR did not go unchecked. Its rising power would attract the attention of dozens of parties, including the Brotherhood of Steel. As their power waned, the Brotherhood attempted to reclaim their place by adopting a policy of reclaiming tech from lesser people. The disagreements over the way technology should be handled eventually resulted in full out war with the New California Republic. The conflict proved disastrous for the insular order and the Brotherhood was eventually forced into retreat.
Perhaps the most spectacular confrontation occurred after the NCR occupied Hoover Dam in 2274. The Brotherhood's two year guerilla campaign culminated when the NCR launched Operation: Sunburst in 2276. Confronting a majority of the chapter at Helios One, the New California Republic broke the strength of the Brotherhood in a decisive battle. Losing half of the chapter, the Brotherhood was forced into retreat, disappearing into the mountains. The Brotherhood War raged on in the West as late as 2281.
Despite numerous victories, the war took its toll on the NCR. Apart from losses in manpower and materiel, the greatest victim of the war was the Republic's economy. The Republic's gold reserves were destroyed by Brotherhood raids to the point where new gold coins could not be minted and paper money could not be properly backed with gold. NCR citizens panicked and rushed to reclaim the listed face value of currency from NCR's remaining gold reserves. Since the NCR was unable to realize these withdrawals, particularly towards the frontier, faith in their currency considerably dropped. To protect against actual economic collapse, the NCR government abandoned the gold standard and established fiat currency, not payable in specie. Since then many wastelanders lost faith in it as a medium of worth, both as a result of it not being backed by anything but the government's word and the inevitable inflation. In response to the loss of faith, merchant consortiums of the Hub established their own currency, the veritable bottle cap, backing it with water (exchanging a standardized measure of water for caps).
The Conflict with the Legion
With the defeat of the Brotherhood at Helios came the illusion of peace. The NCR was aware of the growing power of the Legion, and took efforts to reinforce their position in the Mojave. They were hampered by weak supply lines. The delivery of a package from Navarro to the Divide awoke the nuclear missile silos in Hopeville and Ashton, triggering their launch. The resulting cataclysmic event literally tore the earth apart, turning the entire region into a killing zone. Reinforcements and traders could no longer take State Route 127 to reach Vegas and NCR positions. Coupled with the Death Valley and the Big MT, the latter being like a wall to living creatures, only the I-15 was left as a supply line. This resulted in a major slowing down of reinforcements and resupply for the NCR forces in the Mojave.
In this weakened state, the NCR Army faced the Legion in 2277. Attacking from the eastern bank of the Colorado river, the slave army challenged the NCR military, assaulting its holdings across the front, with most of the forces focusing on attacking the Dam. The First Battle of Hoover Dam, as it came to be known, was a decisive victory for the NCR. Although they had lost 103 soldiers, Chief Hanlon's clever tactics allowed them to rout and destroy most of the Legion's elite fighting force and decimate the remainder. Humiliated, Caesar was forced to retreat to recuperate the losses and make an example of his most trusted ally, Legate Joshua Graham, by throwing him into the Grand Canyon as punishment for failure. However, the weakened state of the military meant that it could not pursue Caesar and solve the matter once and for all. The Republic instead focused on maintaining and expanding its presence in the Mojave, increasing its presence in the Mojave five times. Despite the overwhelming advantage in men and materiel, the NCR was stuck in a holding pattern.
Ever since the battle, the campaign has been going bad. The only development in the plan to annex the New Vegas Strip was an agreement with Mr. House for joint policing of the Strip by Securitrons and NCR Military Police. While support for the campaign continued, opposition limited to a vocal minority including the Followers, the lack of development on the Mojave front strains the patience of the citizens. Despite the fact that the government continued to spend much of its budget on "safeguarding" the region, the Mojave failed to produce a single cap in tax revenue. What's worse, the Mojave continued to consume lives: 400 Republican soldiers and civilians lost their lives between 2273 and 2277, while the surge after the First Battle of Hoover Dam, increasing the size of the Mojave expeditionary force to five times its original size, caused the casualty rate to increase to 1,000 troopers annually. These mounting losses made the campaign an enduring, low-intensity political embarrassment for President Kimball and his cabinet. The NCR citizens are increasingly impatient with the lack of progress, as the promises to annex Vegas fail to materialize. However, definite opposition to the Vegas campaign remains a vocal minority. Radical opinions naming the occupation of Vegas as imperialist subjugation of a foreign territory are unpopular and widely considered unpatriotic, except, of course, for those that share the view, like the Followers.
The situation is further complicated by the conduct of the Republican military. In 2278, the Great Khans were the last significant problem in the Mojave. After the Khans kidnapped and killed four NCR soldiers, the NCR decided to cut off the head from the serpent and mounted an assault on Bitter Springs. However, the NCR command had incomplete intel. What they believed to be a fortress of the Khans was actually their main settlement in the Mojave, housing their elderly, women, and children. When Khan civilians attempted to escape through a canyon pass leading out of Bitter Springs, they were gunned down by the dozen by 1st Recon sharpshooters placed on Coyote Tail ridge to protect the flanks. Although they soon realized their mistake, the damage was done. The NCR provided medical help for survivors and resettled the Great Khans in Red Rock Canyon, converting Bitter Springs into a refugee camp. The massacre went unreported by the NCR press, although it would cast a shadow over the relations between the Khans and the Republic, not to mention lasting trauma in NCR soldiers that committed the massacre. NCR civilians coming into the region also strain relations with the locals. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Freeside, which has to accommodate Republican squatters: people who came to New Vegas looking for fortune, but ended up on the street.
Throughout the years following the battle, the Legion would continue to harass NCR forces on the west side of the Colorado. General Lee Oliver, supreme commander of the Republic's forces stationed in the Mojave, saw fit to start transferring troops from less vulnerable positions west of the McCullough Range dividing the Mojave. This has proven to be a costly mistake, as the weakened crew manning the NCRCF would be subsequently overthrown by a prisoner riot under the lead of Samuel Cooke, shutting down Interstate 93 and a direct road to Vegas. The situation was worsened when the powder gangers stole Sloan's dynamite supply, shutting down Quarry Junction and inadvertently unleashing deathclaws on the quarry and the interstate.
Direct actions by the Legion have also caused NCR to lose their footholds on the east side of the Colorado, after their forces were defeated at Fort Aradesh, Willow Beach and the Dam's Arizona spillway. Further attacks resulted in the Republic losing camps at Nelson and Searchlight, allowing Caesar's men to gain a foothold on the west bank of the River. The attacks culminated in Vulpes Incultas attack on Nipton, where the town was razed to the ground along with its inhabitants.
Second Battle of Hoover Dam
The Republic in 2281, on the eve of the second battle for Hoover Dam, is one of the mightiest nations that emerged out of the ashes of the United States. Cultural and economic transformations of the past forty years resulted in the re-emergence of wage labor, luxury industries, journalism, and more. Survival is no longer the rule for a Republic citizen. This confrontation with the Legion is the Republic's biggest test to date: weakened by constant attacks from Legion skirmishers and facing opposition on multiple fronts, the war effort in the Mojave hinges on a speedy resolution of the conflict and one person: the Courier. Like the Vault Dweller over a century earlier, they hold in their hands the fate of the Republic.
The flag of the NCR in 2241, featuring a two-headed bear.