|United States of America|
POD: September 10, 1862
|Capital:|| Washington, DC (de jure)|
Philadelphia (de facto)
|National Language:||English (de facto)|
|Government:|| Confederation (1781-1789)|
Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic
|Status in Southern Victory:||Active|
However, various regional issues within the country, most important of which was chattel slavery, led to a brief civil war which saw the pro-slavery southern states form a new republic, the Confederate States of America, and secede from the U.S.
From 1862 until 1944 the intense rivalry between the U.S. and the C.S. would lead to war on three separate occasions, until the U.S. ultimately defeated and occupied the C.S., reuniting the country.
The War of Secession and the Political Wilderness: 1861-1881 Edit
Over the course of 1860 and 1861, eleven slave-holding Southern states announced their secession from the United States in order form the Confederate States of America. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, whose election in 1860 touched off the secession, sought to keep the states part of the Union. Tensions escalated to civil war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a Federal military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. A year and a half what came to be called the War of Secession followed.
In September 1862 the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee defeated and destroyed US General George McClellan's Army of the Potomac at Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, then advanced on Philadelphia. The United Kingdom and the Empire of France immediately recognized the Confederate States based on this victory, and signaled to the U.S. their willingness to intercede in the war unless the U.S. also recognized the C.S. President Lincoln, realizing how hopeless the situation was, signed a treaty recognizing the CSA's sovereignty. In addition to the original eleven secceeding states, the C.S. was also able to seize Kentucky early in the war, and kept it as part of the peace. Conversely, West Virginia broke away from the state of Virginia, and remained part of the U.S.
The USA's economy was badly damaged by the war. In 1863, as the U.S. began defaulting on its loans, confidence in both the New York Stock Market and the greenback collapsed with a vengeance. The West Coast, effectively cut off from the East Coast by distance, bore the brunt of the Crash. Here, the value of the greenback sunk as low as three cents to the dollar. Only after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, linking both west and east, did the economic situation start to improve.
But that came much too late to save Lincoln's presidency. He was voted out of office in a landslide in 1864, and the Democratic Party won the next four presidential elections. The Democrats, who before the war had favored Southern interests in the Federal government, took a soft line against the CS, and for the first twenty years the Confederates States--and its ability to threaten the US--grew. It purchased Cuba from Spain in the 1870s.
The Second Mexican War and "Remembrance": 1881-1914 Edit
In 1880, U.S. voters finally tired of the Democrats' soft line elected Republican James G. Blaine president. In Blaine's first year in office, his Confederate counterpart, James Longstreet, completed the purchase of the provinces of Chihuahua and Sonora from the Empire of Mexico, making the CS a transcontinental power by giving it access to the Pacific port city of Guaymas.
Blaine felt he could not tolerate this expansion, and secured a declaration of war against the CS from Congress. The CS was supported by the United Kingdom and France. The United States Army was disorganized and woefully under prepared for the war, and was easily defeated after about a year of fighting. The CS graciously offered the US status quo antebellum in everything but recognition of the Confederate claim to the two Mexican provinces. The United Kingdom, however, took the northern half of the state of Maine as a territorial concession and annexed it into the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
Following the war, the German military observer to the United States, Alfred von Schlieffen, recommended sweeping reorganizations to the US military to US General-in-Chief William Rosecrans. The military took these suggestions to heart, and Schleiffen, realizing the US's wealth of resources and antagonistic relationship with France could make it a potentially valuable ally, became along with German ambassador to the US Kurd von Schlozer, a voice in Berlin in favor of a US-German alliance--what ultimately became the Central Powers after German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck offered such an alliance to the US and the US accepted. (The alliance also included Austria-Hungary. For their part, the CS joined Britain, France, and Russia in forming the Entente.) The two alliance systems maneuvered in many cooperative diplomatic efforts, each trying to extend its own alliances at the expense of its rivals.
Over the next thirty years, Democrats dominated US politics, but with a much more nationalistic ideology, which came to be known as "Remembrance." Under the Democrats, the US took to heart Schleiffen's suggestions for a military reorganization, replacing the position of General-in-Chief, which had limited supervision over largely autonomous field armies, with the centralized United States General Staff. However, the reforms did not stop there; all of US society was reorganized. Government became more bureaucratic, life more regulated. Under hard-line presidents like Alfred Thayer Mahan (1889-1897) and Thomas Brackett Reed (1897-1902), every facet of the country was fine-tuned to be able to support a war effort against the Entente. (It was during Reed's administration that a mutual defense pact was signed with Haiti, perceived as a rather aggressive mood, and that the US threatened war with the CS if it attempted to dig a canal through the Isthmus of Nicaragua.)
The Republican Party, on the heels of the failures of both Lincoln and Blaine, had now become a minor third party, and was soon eclipsed by the upstart Socialist Party as the Democrats' primary opposition.
That war came in 1914 when Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. Alliance systems were invoked, and war spread across Europe and North America. The Great War had begun.Sandwich Islands in the opening weeks of the war. US scientists and engineers, cooperating with their German counterparts, produced many new weapons and innovations, including poison gas and barrels, though these two were quickly aped by the US' enemies.
The US supported the Red Rebellion in the Confederacy in 1915, forcing the CS to take men off the line to suppress the rebellion. Conversely, the USA was forced to do the same to contain the perennially rebellious Mormons, who launched a rebellion in 1915 that was finally put down the following year. Despite the ongoing war, President Theodore Roosevelt was able to campaign on the country's military gains, winning re-election in 1916.
In 1916, US superiority in numbers and resources began to tell and the US began making significant inroads into Canada and the C.S. In mid-1916, the U.S. officially readmitted the state of Kentucky to the Union. In 1917, the US Army had almost complete control over the Canadian province, prompting President Theodore Roosevelt to create the Republic of Quebec, which was immediately recognized by the USA's allies.
Finally, in 1917 the US achieved victory. The first came in Tennessee, where General George Armstrong Custer ordered the Barrel Roll Offensive, in violation of General Staff doctrine. After that, Confederate armies collapsed throughout the country and soon British and Canadian armies did, too. At the cost of 1.5 million KIA, the US had at long last achieved its great victory.
The Interwar Years: 1917-1941 Edit
With an eye toward preventing the Entente from threatening the US again in the future, Roosevelt forced the defeated British to yield all claim to Canada, its holdings in the Carribean, and the Sandwich Islands in the Pacific Ocean. He also demanded large indemnities and severe arms restrictions from the CS and the concession of the states of Kentucky, Sequoyah, and Houston. He placed the state of Utah under martial law. With the long-sought after victory attained, Americans began looking more toward domestic policies than foreign. (One unfortunate manifestation of this shift in public opinion was that the US backed down from its protest of Ottoman Empire's genocide against the Armenians when Germany supported the Ottomans.) The years immediately following the Great War were marked by severe labor unrest, and in 1920, when Roosevelt ran for re-election to an unprecedented third term, he lost to Socialist Upton Sinclair.
Sinclair's first term was a time of peace and prosperity for the US, and he was re-elected in 1924. The good times continued through his second term.Throughout this period, the US had paid less attention to the defeated CS. Sinclair forgave the war indemnities after the assassination of Wade Hampton V, and the US stopped sending weapons inspectors to enforce compliance with the arms restrictions shortly thereafter. During the Mexican Civil War, the U.S. provided tepid support for the Popular Revolutionaries against Emperor Maximilian III. The up-and-coming Freedom Party of the C.S., on the other hand, sent volunteers to keep Maximilian on the throne. The U.S. continued to make military matters a lower priority into the 1920s and 1930s. With the good times still rolling, Sinclair's Vice President, Hosea Blackford, was elected in 1928. But within a year, economic crises in Europe triggered waves of panic throughout the world, including the USA. When the credit bubble in the US finally burst, the stock market crashed and the US economy crashed with it. The Blackford Administration also found itself in an international military crisis when Japan attacked the US, beginning the Pacific War. The Japanese managed to raid Los Angeles while Blackford was appearing there at a campaign function, shredding whatever remaining credibility he had. Blackford was defeated in 1932 by Calvin Coolidge.
However, Coolidge died of a heart attack on January 5, 1933, less than a month before he could take office. His running mate, Herbert Hoover was sworn into office on February 1 and was able to bring the Pacific War to a close. While he managed to conclude the Pacific War, Hoover fared no better than Blackford in sparking economic recovery. Moreover, Hoover continued the country's impotency in the face of CS aggression. When President of the Confederate States#Southern Victory Jake Featherston of the C.S. asked for a loosening of restrictions on arms in the face of ongoing "black unrest", Hoover, having no use for radical elements, accepted Featherston's claims, and granted his request.
With this gambit proving a success, Featherston encouraged civil unrest among former Confederates in Kentucky, Houston, and, to a lesser extent, Sequoyah, and also supported insurgents in Utah. With this situation out of hand, and the economy still weak, Hoover was defeated by Socialist Al Smith in 1936. In 1937, Smith ended martial law in Utah as an attempt to normalize relations. In 1940, Smith met with Featherston in Richmond to discuss a solution for the three former Confederate states. Featherston clearly got the better of Smith at this meeting, convincing the US President to agree to plebiscites in the three states and agreeing that, whichever country won, the states would remain demilitarized for twenty-five years - a promise he had no intention of keeping. Smith's only condition was that the agreement not go until effect unless and until Smith won re-election in 1940, which Smith did.
Through Freedomite intimidation tactics, the US lost the plebiscites in Kentucky and Houston, and Featherston immediately stationed troops in these states upon retaking possession of them. Featherston then issued an ultimatum claiming the US had fixed the Sequoyah plebiscite and demanding the return of that state as well as several other small territorial concessions made at the end of the Great War. The US refused and was invaded on June 22, 1941 when Featherston launched Operation Blackbeard without issuing a formal declaration of war.
The Second Great War and the Aftermath: 1941-1945 Edit
The US was unprepared for the Confederate invasion and was driven back quickly in the first months of the war. Confederate forces took Sandusky, Ohio, on Lake Erie and neatly bisected the US, cutting every transcontinental supply line not involving Canada. The front stabilized when the Confederates reached Sandusky, and the US launched a counterattack in Virginia; however, the Confederates very effectively ground this assault to a halt north of Fredericksburg. US commander Daniel MacArthur launched two ill-advised assaults on that city known as the Battles of Fredericksburg. After the second such assault, the Virginia front essentially became a stalemate.
Early in 1942 President Smith was killed in an air raid on Philadelphia. Charles W. La Follette became President. Before he died, Smith ordered the production of a new weapon in Hanford, Washington. This weapon, which came to be called the "superbomb", was based on the nuclear fission of radioactive materials.
The US sent supporting columns to open secondary fronts all along the border to counteract the Confederate advantage of interior lines of communication. This was effective in severely taxing CS Army personnel, but the Confederate column in Ohio launched Operation Coalscuttle into Pennsylvania late in 1942. The army pushed the US back into Pittsburgh, where it was destroyed in an enormous months-long battle.
Following the destruction of the Army of Kentucky, US General Irving Morrell followed up with a campaign to liberate Ohio and push through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia, with his ultimate objective being Atlanta. By the fall of 1943, his forces had nearly reached that city. Their fighter-bombers had gained air superiority over the Confederates, their paratroopers were threatening the flanks and rears of Confederate positions, and their barrels were superior to the enemy's. However, Philadelphia came under fire from Confederate rockets that fall.
Also in that year, the US Eleventh Army under General Abner Dowling retook Houston and took Camp Determination in Texas. The U.S. Navy won a decisive victory over the British in the Battle of the North Atlantic and retook Bermuda. Japan disengaged from US forces and attacked Britain's Asian colonies.
The US supported guerrilla fighters within the CS recruited from among the black population, which was the target of a genocide by the racist Featherston. The CS supported yet another Mormon rebellion in Utah, and Britain supported a Canadian uprising. In 1942, that uprising expelled a Quebecois garrison from the city of Winnipeg. The US was also engaged in a war against Japan; it defended the Sandwich Island against that nation and retook Midway and Wake Isalnd. This war ended in 1943.
Unfortunately, despite the military gains that plunged deep into the Confederacy, the CS was able to deploy the new superbomb first, destroying a sizable portion of downtown Philadelphia. In response, the US destroyed Newport News in a failed attempt to kill Jake Featherston. In addition, the US destroyed Charleston, South Carolina.
Featherston fled further into the CS, but was ultimately killed by a US auxiliary sentry. With his death, the CS surrendered. The US Army quickly occupied all CS territory from coast to coast, and settled into what was believed to be a long occupation, as die-hard Freedomites continued to resist the US, and US forces routinely responded with bloody retribution.
At the same time, the US, now fully aware of the Population Reduction perpetrated against Confederate blacks, began punishing the government officials who'd carried out the killings, while at the same time trying to force some equality upon the population.
Despite the US' ultimate victory, Charles La Follette lost his bid for re-election to Democrat Thomas Dewey. Dewey's stated goal was to complete the reintegration of the former Confederacy into the US, making North America whole again. On the world stage, Dewey announced plans to continue the country's partnership with Germany to police the world and prevent the spread of superbomb technology.