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 several overseas territories as well, 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.
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. 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 and technocratic America First Union 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. Also, the left-leaning social-democratic Progressive Party has recently gained significant support, gaining several congressional seats in the Pacific States and in the Northeast. After the New York stock market crash of 1925 and the government's inability to help the country recover, far-left and far-right organizations have formed in various parts of the country.
Both the Republicans and Democrats have stagnated, struggling to find the support they once had, before the depression hit. Led by their president, Herbert Hoover, the Republicans are the tantamount party of the rich. With polling hovering in the single digits and possibly the most unpopular president in history, their future seems bleak.
The Democrats, led by House Speaker John Nance Garner, are at a crossroads. The mainly conservative elements of the party dominate, but there is a growing liberal trend among the base. 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, they have seen considerable popularity in the Midwest, but see the most support in New England and the West Coast. 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 a dominating grasp on government. The majority of state governments are run by SPA members, and it is rare to see the Belt elect a representative or senator to Washington that is not at-least somewhat leftist. The mainstream current of the Socialist Party is Orthodox Syndicalism, championed by Big Bill Haywood & Jack Reed. Norman Thomas leads the almost as popular socialist movement made up of Christian socialists, democratic socialists, market socialists, etc, which his opponents simply distract as being 'Radical Socialism'. Less popular among the Socialists is the Communist Party, which is heavily affiliated with the Socialist Party but maintains some independence. Led by Earl Browder and W. Z. Foster, the Communist Party has seen some success in destitute suburbs and inner-city districts. 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.
In the traditional Deep South region, Louisiana Senator and prominent populist Huey Long have organized the far-right, southern democrats, and anti-socialist populists into the so-called America First Union Party. The beating heart of the AFUP, Long is by far the undisputed head of the party, supporting welfare for the poor, and he plans on implementing it by any means possible. However, there is a strong wing of National Populists, led by William Dudley Pelley, that believes Long must go further and create a theocratic ethnostate in America. Business Interests, namely industrial magnates and military leaders, lead a smaller branch of the AFUP, and protest that the party should loosen regulations on business for the good of the economy. Long's Share Our Wealth program has earned him prominence even beyond his home state and the south, and he plans to run for President in 1936. The question is what platform within his party will he choose.
Both the SPA and the AFP have the capacity to rise up as paramilitary forces and popular militias around the country, and should either one not be elected they are prepared to take power by force if necessary.
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 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 partisan divided the ability of the US to draw upon its vast power remains in doubt.