The United Kingdom of Great Britain is the European nation whose North American colonies became the Confederation of North America and were the source of the founding leadership of the state of Jefferson and thus of the United States of Mexico. In this century, Great Britain has remained an important world power though she suffered great losses in the Global War. She is one of four entities known to possess atomic weapons, along with the C.N.A., Germany, and Kramer Associates.
North American Rebellion
Formally, the United Kingdom was created by the union in 1707 of the kingdoms of England and Scotland, the thrones of which had been personally united for over a century. An elected Parliament, with representatives from England, Wales, and Scotland, held essentially all governmental authority by that time and has done so to this day, with the exception of the late eighteenth century when King George III exercised his royal prerogatives for a time.
As the leading maritime power in Europe, Great Britain was active in colonizing other continents. During the seventeeth and eighteenth centuries she established a string of colonies along the eastern seaboard of North America and established hegemony over India. This process involved a series of five wars with France, after the fourth of which, in 1763, she gained control of nearly the entire eastern half of North America.
Disputes over trade policy and taxation led to the North American Rebellion of 1775-8, during which a rebel government established control over much of the populated east coast. After the military defeat of the rebel armies, the colonial leaders sued for peace. A vigorous debate over the governmental structure for the colonies ended with the establishment of a self-governing federation under British sovereignty, the C.N.A., under the Britannic Design. Prime Minister Lord North won approval for this policy over the objections of the King, whose influence had been dominant in the decisions that led to the Rebellion and in the prosecution of the war to suppress it. Charles Jenkinson, who succeeded North as prime minister in 1785, was not as sympathetic to North Americans but was still able to work well with C.N.A. Viceroy Sir John Dickinson.
In the Trans-Oceanic War of 1795-99, the C.N.A. and Britain fought as allies, adding vast amounts of Spanish territory to the former while Britain and her ally the Germanic Confederation became masters of Europe, defeating the Hapsburg alliance of Spain, France, and Austria. Upon the establishment of the U.S.M. in the 1820's, however, France sought alliance with the new nation to counter British interests. Relations between Britain and the U.S.M. did not improve until the election of President Arthur Conroy in 1857.
A financial crisis struck London in 1835, leading to the collapse of many institutions and the replacement of the Liberal government of Thomas Tillotson by a Conservative-Reform coalition led by Lewis Watson. As this crisis spread to the C.N.A., and that nation also faced war with its Indian population, revolt in Quebec, labor unrest, and the economic collapse of plantation slavery, a group of North American leaders successfully renegotiated the Britannic Design with the Conservative government of prime minister Duncan Amory. The position of C.N.A. Viceroy, formerly a national executive responsible to the British government, became a largely powerless symbol of the union of the two nations, while an elected Governor-General became the head of the C.N.A.'s national government. By 1880, when Prime Minister Geoffrey Cadogan held two Imperial Conferences with Governor-General John McDowell, the first in London and the second in New York, the two nations were essentially equal partners united by loyalty to the Queen.
British investment in the C.N.A. increased through the mid-nineteenth century, beginning with an agreement between Governor-General William Johnson and Prime Minister John Temple at the end of the Rocky Mountain War. But in the worldwide depression of 1880 (precipitated by the war between France and Germany in 1878, though Britain remained neutral in that conflict), British bankers called in their loans from the C.N.A. and restricted further investment, causing a financial crisis there that lasted for over two years. At home, London was (with St. Petersburg) one of only two major European capitals to escape major rioting in February of 1880. The Whig party, which gained power in 1885 under the leadership of Richard Cross, passed major reforms in 1886 including expanded voting rights, social insurance, and some redistribution of equity in corporations -- banks were nationalized in 1893 over the opposition of J. P. Morgan and other financiers. These reforms are credited with sparing Britain the revolutionary turmoil of the Bloody Eighties. The threat of a nativist uprising prevented mass resettlement of European refugees on the island of Britain, although over 100,000 immigrants entered Ireland and vast numbers went to the British colonies of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Caribbean, and other places in Africa.
As the U.S.M. under Benito Hermión expanded into Latin America, Britain followed the lead of Governor-General Ezra Gallivan in making diplomatic protests but taking no military action to defend Guatemala or New Granada. She maintained a South American colony in Guiana, which was never menaced by the Mexicans. In general, however, Gallivan's People's Coalition was less interested in cooperation with Britain than McDowell had been, and Gallivan improved the C.N.A.'s relationship with France independently of Cadogan's proposed "United British Commonwealth". The more pro-Empire Liberal Party of the C.N.A. remained out of power there until 1923. When the United Commonwealth was formally established in 1906 by Britain, Australia, New Zealand, India, Victoria, and Egypt, Governor-General Christopher Hemingway accepted only associate status. Still, the tour of the C.N.A. by King Edward VII in 1907 reaffirmed strong emotional ties between the two nations.
After the Russian Revolution of 1900, the deposed Tsar and his family took up residence in Britain. Along with France, Germany, and Austria, British forces intervened in 1905 to restore order in that part of Russia not annexed by Mexico after the Great Northern War. At the same time, Britain won the competition for markets and influence in Japan, signing the Yamagata-McMillan Treaty in 1901 to expand trade ties and pledge mutual protection in the event of war. Another mutual protection treaty with the Germanic Confederation, signed in 1883 and directed against revolutionary France, remained in force as the aggressive policies of French leader Henri Fanchon threatened to disrupt the international order. Britain was one of many nations that protested the U.S.M.'s treatment of slaves freed and then abandoned by the French in the Hundred Day War of 1914.
International tensions rose in the 1930's as a new alliance of Germany and Mexico threatened the dominant economic position of Britain and the C.N.A., but the armaments race was disrupted by the worldwide financial panic of 1936. Despite peace movements in most nations in 1937, both Germany and Britain elected pro-war governments, with Conservative Prime Minister George Bolingbroke winning reelection over Whig Malcolm Hart. When anti-war Bruce Hogg won a narrow election victory and became C.N.A. Governor-General in early 1938, it was clear that Britain could not count on its most powerful potential ally. A month later, the U.S.M. also reelected a pro-war leader, President Alvin Silva. It seemed clear that the next major international crisis would lead to worldwide open conflict.
The Global War began in the autumn of 1939, with Britain defending the Ottoman Empire and its oil resources against a German-backed Arab revolt. Britain's ally France was quickly overwhelmed and forced to surrender, and Arab and German forces took control of Egypt, including the strategic Victoria Canal, from Britain. By 1941 German armies also took British-ruled India, but their first attempt to invade Britain itself was repulsed in December 1940. The British Royal Air Arm proved itself the equal of its German adversary, and three further invasion attempts (the last in the summer of 1944) also failed.
Despite initial victories, the German-Mexican alliance was unable to reduce Britain, its allies Japan and China, or its Commonwealth ally Australia, due in part to supply of these nations by the two major non-belligerents, the C.N.A. and Kramer Associates (the latter now based in the Philippine Islands). Some of the C.N.A. support was delivered covertly in the guise of aid to neutral Iceland. As Germany faced increasing internal and European dissent, a change of government in 1946 led to an end of offensive activity though not to an end of the war. The resulting stalemate acknowledged the British loss of India and its African colonies, and the independent status of Australia. Total British and Empire combat death in the war are estimated at 2.7 million, out of total armed forces of 12.5 million. Sobel refers to Britain at the end of the war as a "subordinate" of the C.N.A., as the world entered the War Without War era.
Both Britain and Germany benefited from C.N.A. reconstruction aid under Richard Mason's New Day program, but each resented the aid given the other and tensions between the two remained high. When Kramer Associates demonstrated the first atomic bomb in 1962, both rivals rushed to duplicate the feat. Britain was first, testing its bomb in Australia in February 1965, but Germany followed a year later and atomic-armed airmobiles faced each other across the channel. British Prime Minister Harold Fuller signed a non-aggression treaty with the C.N.A. in 1964, affording atomic protection to the latter nation, which did not begin work on its own bomb until Mason was out of office. Like Germany, Britain rebuffed U.S.M. leader Vincent Mercator's Offensive of the Dove and withstood Mexican attempts to bribe its atomic scientists.
Sobel describes the position of Britain in 1971 as one of five world powers, but one that depends on its leadership of the United Empire (primarily Australia) and its alliances with the C.N.A. and with Japan. He speculates that Britain might be forced to choose sides in an Australia-Japan rivalry, or have its subordinate status to the C.N.A. codified in a tighter Imperial union or even inclusion in an expanded Confederation. Currently the C.N.A. has an economy larger than those of Britain and Germany combined, and those of the U.S.M. and Britain are about equal.
In For All Nails, contemporary Britain is ruled by the repressive, aggressive National Renewal Party, which eventually involves it in a misguided military adventure in Latin America that transforms its relationship with the C.N.A. in a dramatic way.
This was the Featured Article for the week of 25 May 2014.