Following the attacks in Washington D.C. and under assistance of the National Guard,[1] a provisional government of the United States is formed that declares a "State of National Emergency".[2] During the Provisional Goverment all Non-essential businesses were required to close, resulting in a economic catastrophe[citation needed]. In all storylines, this new government uses martial law to quickly enact (gender) discriminatory policies [3][4] characteristic for the ideology of the "Sons of Jacob",[2] which implies its members are loyal - or perhaps identical - to the top management of the group ("Committee").


Imposed Policies[edit | edit source]

 See also: Laws in Gilead, Social Classes

The Committee, now in charge of governance, uses the imposed martial law to establish a patriarchal, theocratic regime with its own paramilitary forces (known as Angels and Guardians) and an own body of law. In particular, they took away women's civil rights to own property and to hold down a job.[5]

The new regime eventually proclaimed the establishment of the Republic of Gilead and began to detain and enslave fertile women as "Handmaids". It moved quickly to consolidate its power and reorganize society along a new militarized, hierarchical regime of Christianity-inspired social and religious fanaticism among its newly created social classes.

Other Mentions in the Storyline[edit | edit source]

In an article of the Boston Globe detailing the aftermath of the terrorist massacres, a group of civil servants is quoted as saying that "the government will continue to function." The statement corresponds to a TV announcement mentioned in the novel, where the population is urged to "keep calm" after the massacres since "everything is under control".[6] The government is quoted similarly in The Testaments (see "Van").

In "A Woman's Place", the new government holds a meeting for "security discussions" with participation by the Commanders Waterford and Putnam, from which Mrs. Waterford as a woman is shut out.

U.S. Government in Exile[edit | edit source]

At some point following the takeover, a government loyal to the former United States was established in Anchorage, Alaska [citation needed].

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Episode 2.1, June
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Testaments, Chapter V Van
  3. The Handmaid's Tale (Novel), Chapter X Soul Scrolls, section 28
  4. Episode 1.3, Late
  5. Episode 1.3, Late
  6. X Soul Scrolls, Section 28
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