The British Civil War was a devastating conflict that occurred between 1996 and 2002, with unrest still ongoing.
Most historians agree there are several reasons for the civil war:
Differences Between Countries
Both the north and south of England, and Wales and Scotland, had developed their own identities during their time apart. Although this would not normally be a problem, the action of politicians toward these differences (mainly cultural, but also political). This was one of the primary reasons for the north splitting from the rest of the country.
Ignoring their time apart, Scotland and Wales already had separate identities before splitting from the Union. Many people, especially in more rural areas, wanted independence from "the English" and to go their own way.
Suppression of Communism
Communism had surprisingly become very popular in the southern states, despite being forced upon them. However, Communism was banned before the election. This led to unrest and large voting for Labour and the Worker's Party. It was one of the driving forces behind the Communist Party of Wales taking power in the south of the country.
Suppression of Fascism
Although practically a dead ideology by 1993, fascism was still one turned to by an estimated 5% of the population. This led to violent riots after the north split.
Most historians use the declaration that the United Republic was a failed state as the starting point of the civil war. At this point, Scotland and North England had already declared independence. Violent riots tore apart these countries, and soon spread to the rest of the island.
Military action, as opposed to disorganised civilian action, first occurred between "loyalists" and "nationalists" in North England. As the Socialist State of Wales declared independence, violence was recorded against Union forces here too. Union troops were quickly forced back along the west coast before becoming locked in stalemate.
As the Union descended into anarchy, the government desperately tried to keep order by declaring martial law. However, this failed as troops mutinied, and by 1997 the movement for independence for the South took hold. Scuffles between North and South forces over the border meant that the war only escalated further.
By winter a "loyalist strip" reached from the Welsh border to Wessex, the last bastion for a united Britain. Anarchy still ruled in many cities, and reports of atrocities against civilians filtered back to the international community.
In March 1998, a report by American senator George Donaldson brought to light these atrocities and urged the League of Nations to intervene. In July a vote was taken, and it was agreed that forces from Germany, France and the US would intervene.
France landed first, taking Southampton from Southern forces without much effort (the South was favourable toward France). Germany landed on the Norfolk coast and most US forces were concentrated in Wales. Some American forces also helped in Scotland to keep the peace in Edinbourgh.
A long, hard slog against rebel forces then began. This would take four years and cost many lives. Invading troops fought against guerrilla warfare constantly, in horrendous conditions.
By April 2002, the Civil War was declared over, most of Britain under Allied rule.
After the war, the German chancellor gave a speech that summed up the thoughts of many involved:
"The war has been circular. We are back where we were nearly sixty years ago. I urge all at negotiations to decide a fate for the island that will prevent any more terrible, terrible war... Some of you support a united British state. Look where that has taken us, not just all of the dead allied troops but for Scottish, English, Welsh citizens. The cost of this war has been terrible and as long as we remember that, Britain will stay divided."
American and German representatives wanted to reach the best compromise possible for every faction in the war. France, however, wanted a re-establishment of their hegemony in the south. This matter was eventually settled as they allowed Cornwall, Wessex, North Wales and South Wales to exist just in their sphere.
In the north, strongly nationalistic forces had taken hold of north Scotland whereas a more moderate country existed in the south. This presented problems for negotiators. Eventually a deal was struck where the north would have a referendum in ten years.
North England was re-created with a strong German presence.
Numerous factions were involved in the war, which is why it became to chaotic.
- Nationalist groups from each respective country
- Loyalist groups
- Welsh communists
- Cornish independence supporters
- Scottish republicans