Alternate History

Cold War (Napoleon's World)

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The Cold War is a reference to a series of diplomatic, quasi-military and economic standoffs and tensions between the French Empire and the United States of America during the 20th, and to a lesser extent, early 21st century. While it is an ongoing conflict continuing into present day, the neverending balancing act and competition for global influence between the two superpowers has waned in recent years, as the United States is once again economically viable and not competing as bitterly with France. The bursting of the proverbial East Asian balloon has removed the competitive third parties of China, Japan and Korea from the Cold War mix as well.

Definition of Cold War

Other Similar Conflicts

The Cold War refers specifically to the ongoing struggle for global influence between the French Empire and the United States of America; however, the name has been used intermittently by other countries in other similar situations.

Persia and China have a long rivalry that has never escalated into actual violence; their struggle for control of central and southern Asia has been primarily economic and diplomatic, including forays into Afghanistan, the independent Gangestan, Ceylon and other Indian states. The rivalry has been referred to as a cold war during the late 20th century, but in China and Persia it is typically referred to as the "Silent War."

Rivalries between Turkey and France, China and the US, and the US and Alaska have been termed "Cold Wars" as well. The tensions in South America between Colombia, Argentina and Brazil are called "Los Problemas" there. While sometimes referred to as a cold war, the occasional military conflict makes this an ongoing regional issue.

With the ambitious recovery of Japan's economy in the late 2000's and the tension over the Philippine War, some experts predict a Cold War to emerge between Japan and the United States in the near future, especially with the dependence of China on Japan in recent years.


The term "Cold War" was first coined by Max Richardson of the New York Press, a nationally syndicated American newspaper. Richardson commented in 1958 - even before atomic weapons entered the equation - that "For some time now, our United States and the Empire of France have been in a war of words, a war of pointed fingers and pursed lips - a cold war, a frozen war, an exchange of diplomatic posturing, of false military gestures, of near-conflict."

History of Cold War

Early Tensions: 1860's to 1925

Pre-Cold War: 1925-1953

First Era: 1953-1973

Second Era: 1973-1996

The period referred to as the "Second Era" by Cold War historians is defined by numerous characteristics; namely, the focus on strategic as opposed to mass armament by the superpowers characteristic of the 1960's, and the success of proxy wars to stymie opponents into achieving strategic goals.

While there is no way to definitively pinpoint the exact moment that the Second Era began, three major events are often cited as the impetus for the shift. The first, and most significant, was the decline in health of Emperor Sebastien in the early 1970's. Following the death of his elder brother, it was Crown Prince Albert who unofficially assumed most day-to-day activities in the Empire, and beginning in 1974 was given primacy of government. Albert, who would later become Emperor Albert II in 1975, had a far more pragmatic approach to Cold War relations, often scaling back French involvement in Europe and focusing on overseas territories for stronger economic hegemony.

This shift away from the European and Middle Eastern theater was matched by Clyde Dawley, Van Dyke's successor in the United States; with the French-backed breakaway states in the Balkans collapsing and being reabsorbed by Turkey, Dawley's focus turned to battling French influence indirectly in Africa and Asia. This was matched by a policy of detente - Dawley had an amicable relationship with both Sebastien and Albert, as well as State Minister Patric Renaud.

Third Era: 1996-Present

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