A founding member of the United Federation of Planets, its pointy-eared natives turned to logic as a path away from self-destructive violence nearly 2,000 years ago, and a splinter group with star drive left to found the Romulan Star Empire. Vulcan's government includes the titled leaders "ministers" -- including the security ministry known as the V'Shar -- and a Bill of Rights to protect civil liberties.Though its people are pacifists, it maintains its own defense fleet.

In recent years, an extreme isolationist movement sprang up dedicated to withdrawal from the United Federation of Planets and fighting the "pollution" of Vulcan culture. Meanwhile, an underground group on Romulus worked to spread peaceful reunification between the worlds. The hot, dry and marginally Class M world was aware of Earth but had no interest in the primitive world until a passing survey ship noted Cochrane's warp signature on April 5, 2063, and became the first alien contact that changed human history.

Vulcan once fought a hundred-year war with Romulus -- a conflict Q blames on a misunderstanding caused by one of a fellow Q's "self-destructive" stunts. It is not specified whether this was related to the original Vulcan-Romulan schism, or followed their split. Vulcan features huge wilderness preserves and was the site of exile for the Cardassian poet Iloja sometime in the last 300 years, where Tobin Dax met him.

Planet Vulcan is 16 light-years from Earth, located roughly in the same region as Betazed, Andor, Tellar and Alpha Centauri.