The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (US), or simply America, is a country located in North America and parts of Oceania.
The United States expands across the continent from the easternmost portion bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to its westernmost portion bordering the Pacific Ocean. It is bordered by the Dominion of Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The United States has 48 states as well as several overseas territories, which include Alaska, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and several Pacific islands. Alaska borders Canada to its east and Russia to the west separated by the Bering Strait, while Hawaii is made up of multiple islands in the Pacific located southwest of North America.
Main Article: Timeline of the United States since 1917
While the United States ironically prospered while the rest of the world was involved in the Weltkrieg, with American banks and industries supplying the UK, France, and the other Entente Powers, the immediate aftermath of the war proved far more disastrous. With the collapse of both the British and French governments to syndicalist and socialist revolutionaries, to say nothing of the loss of both of their overseas empires, American companies were suddenly faced with the irrecoverable loss of countless millions of dollars in investments, loans, and other contracts. These loans to the Entente from 1917 until the Treaty of Versailles still remain unpaid, with the US government attempting to play a neutral role between the lenders and the Entente. German dominance over global trade ensured that the United States was progressively forced out of European, African, and Asian markets. A slow decline took hold, followed by increasingly vicious domestic social and political conflict.
By the mid-1930s, the ineffective second term of President Herbert Hoover has threatened the very two-party political system that has dominated the US government since the American Civil War of the last century. Previously, the Democratic and Republican parties maintained a near-monopoly on power with the support of American industry and big business, with any "extremist" groups being fragmented and disunited. Two grand coalitions have risen to challenge the traditional system, with the first being the populist distributionist America First Party, with the second being the revolutionary syndicalist Socialist Party of America. Each group is mobilizing its supporters and fielding candidates to become the 32nd President of the United States come the next election in 1936.
Ever since the American Civil War of the 1860s, the United States government has operated under a two-party political system. At the centre of the political spectrum are the social liberal-leaning Republicans, while the centre-right the Democratic Party, itself divided between market liberals and a minority of social conservatives from the southern states. Since 1917, the left-leaning social-democratic Progressive Party has recently gained significant support, gaining several congressional seats in the Pacific States and in the Northeast. Arising out of the insecurity following the Treaty of Versailles, citizen militias have formed over the past decade. Groups such as the African Blood Brotherhood and the second Ku Klux Klan have organized to hoard guns along racial lines that have persisted since the 1860s. The scars of the Russian Civil War and Syndicalist revolution have also spurred many ordinary Americans to form decentralized militias such as the Red Guards (named after the Finnish Red Guards) and the Minutemen (named after the Revolutionary War group.)
A series of divisive political issues during the 1920s further divided the United States population. The Temperance Movement, a nationwide push to ban alcohol, was soundly rejected in Congress by a bipartisan vote. The Prohibition issue divided voter groups like Progressives, Feminists, and Christian Fundamentalists between those in favor of Prohibition and those against. The 1925 Stock Market Crash and the ensuing failure by the William McAdoo presidency to prevent massive unemployment disenchanted many to normal political processes. The next 11 years from 1925 to 1936 saw a succession of Presidents McAdoo then Hoover in 1928 fail to pass legislation on social security, deposit insurance, regulation, or civil rights.
Both the Republican and Democratic parties have stagnated, struggling to find the support they once had, before the Depression hit. Led by the President, Herbert Hoover, the Republicans lose popularity each day as bipartisan bills fail to pass the House. The areas in which Republican support is strongest in the US is New England, the West Coast, and Hawaii. The front-runner in the Republican presidential nomination is Alf Landon, the Governor of Kansas. Alf is known for his support for some economic intervention in the Depression, as well as being lambasted by his enemies for his ties to the Standard Oil corporation.
The Democrats, led by House Speaker John Nance Garner, are at a crossroads. Garner, a favorite of Texans, has stated his intentions to run for President in 1936. Garner is also currently working with Senator Robert Wagner on a bipartisan legislation to start economic recovery, a Bill already opposed by the SPA and AFP. After the loss of the Presidency in 1928, the Democrats have become increasingly divided internally between market liberals in the Northeast and Social Conservatives in the Southeast. If the Democrats have any hope of winning the elections alone, they must reconcile these two sides behind their leader.
The Progressive Party of America grew from the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party. Led by Floyd B.Olson. The Progressives have seen sporadic popularity in State elections in the Midwest, with some representation in the Northeast and Northwest. There is talk of the Progressives running Olson as President for the 1936 election, under a coalition ticket with the Republicans and Democrats.
In the so-called Red Belt, the Socialist Party of America has fast gained influence in government. After the failure of the Bolshevik Revolution, Communist sympathizer Jack Reed returned to the US and began a career in politics in Chicago. Influence from the Bolsheviks was replaced in the 1920s with Syndicalists from Western Europe. the Socialist Party of America, formerly a marginal and illegal party, has utilized financial and propaganda support from Europe to grow in size. By 1936, plurality of state legislature in the Red Belt are run by SPA members. The mainstream current of the Socialist Party is Orthodox Syndicalism, championed by Big Bill Haywood & Jack Reed. As a function of the SPA's syndicalist system, the IWW (International Workers of the World) and AFL (American Federation of Labor) have significant influence on the economic policies of the SPA. Besides the labor unions, Totalists have a significant influence on the militant policies of the SPA. Led by Earl Browder and W. Z. Foster, Totalists has seen some success in destitute suburbs and inner-city districts running under the SPA ticket. The Socialist Party has also found success outside of the Red Belt, in industrial cities such as Seattle and rural mining regions such as in Colorado. Political violence against the SPA is answered by the Red Guards.
In the Southeast, Louisiana Senator and prominent populist Huey Long have organized the far-right, southern democrats, and anti-socialist populists into the so-called America First Party. The beating heart of the AFP, Long is by far the undisputed head of the party and financial controller of all party policies. Huey Long started the AFP after losing the Democratic Presidential primary in 1932. Long's Share Our Wealth program, a plan to provide every household with income, has played well enough to give the AFP seats in state legislatures in their short existence. After a decentralized militia called the Minutemen pledged their loyalty to Huey Long and the AFP, a more organized militant group was created by William Dudley Pelley, the Silver Legion. Although as of yet Huey Long has refused to meet Pelley, Pelley's Ethnocentric antidemocratic Silver Legion has made inroads between the AFP and the Ku Klux Klan, spurring klansmen to join the AFP in anticipation of the 1936 election.
Outside of conventional politics lies some special interest groups and individuals for whom financial and militant resources are increasingly becoming tools of power. General Douglas MacArthur, decorated general and public advocate of remilitarization, has recently been giving more public interviews about his distaste of the current political climate. William Randolph Hearst, famed newspaper mogul and Democratic party donor, has taken MacArthur's cause up in his influential newspapers. Henry Ford, embattled industrialist, lost his son Edsel Ford in 1935 to a syndicalist assassin. In his grief and belief Jewish conspiracies, Ford has made public donations to the AFP, citing Long's ally Charles Coughlin as his inspiration.
The United States military possesses a large navy that rivals Germany's Kaiserliche Marine. But has an army and airforce hampered by the Great Depression.
The United States Army is a small part of the US military. They have a small active-duty force, but they make up for that in a large number of National Guard Reservists and an excellent corp of officers. The US Army is one of few in the world that have dedicated armored elements, and one of even fewer that have successfully supported marine divisions.
The United States Navy is the most modern and powerful branch of the military. It is one of the few navies in the world that operates aircraft carriers and boasts a significant amount of other capital ships. The Navy maintains a presence in two oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic, with the Pacific Fleet being the stronger of the two. While still lagging behind, the US Navy is one of the few that could come close to rivalling Germany's Kaiserliche Marine.
The United States Army Air Corps is directly subordinate to the Army and, as such, is currently operated as a supporting force, covering soldiers on the ground from above and providing tactical reconnaissance. The Air Corps has sought to expand its operations to the US Navy and, perhaps, become its own independent branch should the need eventually arise for such a large aerial force. The Air Force is extremely powerful and fully capable of taking on the German Luftstreitkräfte in a one-to-one confrontation.
The United States has political, economic, and military authority over two countries, the small Liberia in West Africa, originally established as a settlement for Afro-Americans in the 1840s, and the Philippines, an island nation located in the Western Pacific, dependent on America ever since its independence from Spain after the Spanish–American War of 1898.
Due to the Monroe Doctrine, the US wields huge influence over most of Central America and the Caribbean. Direct American puppet regimes or pro-American governments currently are in power in Haiti, Guatemala and Costa Rica. In Cuba, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, formerly loyalist regimes were removed in coups, revolutions or democratic elections in the late 20's / early 30's, but the US still controls most of said countries' economies. Mexico and Nicaragua are the only exceptions; Ruled by socialist revolutionaries aligned with the Syndicalist International, America sees them as an existential threat to their influence in the Americas, but because of the deteriorating internal economic and political crisis, the United States are currently unable to intervene.
Because of ideological reasons, America also has poor relations with most members of the Syndicalist International.
The United States is considered a prime destination for immigration from around the world and, as such, has an extraordinarily heterogeneous society retaining the cultural heritage of hundreds of distinct ethnicities and nationalities. The country is a "melting pot" of cuisine, music, art, literature, and, most importantly, politics.
The United States, without a doubt, boasts the largest industrial capacity out of all of the world's major powers in 1936 and when it comes to resources, the US can draw upon the vast natural wealth of North America, making them nearly self-sufficient. But with the economy badly damaged by the Great Depression and with the country torn apart by partisanship divided the ability of the US to draw upon its vast power remains in doubt.