The Confederate States of America is a large, extremely prosperous nation located in North America which occupies vast swaths of territory throughout the Western Hemisphere. Largely considered the most powerful nation in the Americas, the CSA grew from humble beginnings as a ragtag rebellion against its then - far more powerful mother country, the United States of America. Since independence in the First American Civil War (or the Second War of Independence, as referred to by citizens of the Confederacy) the CSA rapidly expanded and waged several wars of conquest against its southerly Latin neighbors, establishing a massive colonial empire throughout Latin America, South America and the Caribbean by the early 20th century.
The CSA was born upon the secession of several southern states from the USA in 1860-1861, an act largely viewed as the culmination of decades of acrimony and contentious debate between free northern states and their slaveholding Southern counterparts, in addition to several other cultural and socioeconomic disputes. Although initially regarded lightly by the United States, foreign observers, and even many Southerners themselves as a minor insurgency the experience and cunning of the West Point-educated Southern generals as well as the hardened determination of their soldiers caught ill-prepared Union troops and their generals (many aristocrats from the landed gentry with little understanding of battlefield tactics) severely off guard in the early going of the war. Notable early victories for the Confederates included the First Battle of Manassas as well as the Battle of Glendale, in which Union General George Meade was killed alongside 4000 of his troops.
Although the Union managed to recover somewhat following their initial humiliating defeats, the war dragged on inconclusively and bloodily for the next two years. With the Confederate Army running low on supplies and personnel in the war of attrition, General Robert E. Lee's army made a desperate lunge across the Mason-Dixon Line in a hope of bringing the war to the Union's doorstep and forcing a quick surrender. His efforts culminated at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, where a titanic clash stained the fields of Pennsylvania red for four days. It was Lee's prowess and cunning as well as his Federal counterpart Joseph Hooker's ineptitude and key blunders, however, that won the day for the Confederates. The defeat crushed morale in the North and led to a Confederate rampage through Pennsylvania and other border states. The cities of Harrisburg and York were burned to the ground in the following weeks and further south Washington, D.C was temporarily evacuated as the Army of Northern Virginia laid siege to it. Although Lincoln was initially hesitant to call a truce, rightfully suspecting the Confederates were exhausting their last resources in desperation, the American public clamored for an end to the bloodshed. Their worst fears were confirmed when Britain announced its recognition of and support for the Confederacy in late 1863, shortly followed thereafter by France. While a small number of British and French troops began arriving in America by early 1864, the most useful European aid to the CSA came in the form of financial assistance and arms dealing, as the Confederacy gladly traded its world renown cotton and tobacco for sophisticated European weaponry.
This culmination of events finally pushed Lincoln to accept an armistice. Although many in the CSA clamored for the North to make humiliating concessions, CSA President Jefferson Davis, the CS Congress, and the victorious Confederate generals enumerated few demands from The United States in the Treaty of Richmond aside from full recognition of the CSA's sovereignty and nominal monetary tribute. The newly-formed CSA recovered quickly from the damage inflicted upon it during the war as its economy grew by leaps and bounds throughout the next few decades. Technological innovations which made the production of tobacco and cotton easier led to mass production of both cash crops. Confederate pipe and cigarette tobacco was especially sought after by the people of Europe as its quality was considered far superior to that of northern tobacco, and the increasing global demand for and fascination with cigarettes, cigars, and pipes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries made Confederate businesses immensely wealthy practically overnight. Slavery, long expected to run its course and die off following the end of the Civil War, unexpectedly survived on as mass production of Confederate goods boomed. Much as Eli Whitney's cotton gin perpetuated slavery a century earlier, the need for cheap, unpaid labor in the textile and tobacco processing plants of the South transformed the institution of slaveowning from a largely pastoral endeavor practiced relatively sparsely by wealthy plantation owners into a large-scale systematic practice employed by large corporations. The need for a large labor force prompted the Confederate Congress to repeal its ban on the slave trade in 1880.
By the late 19th century the great powers of Europe had begun a massive landgrab in the undeveloped world, seizing vast swaths of Africa and Asia for themselves and establishing repressive colonialist regimes in the conquered territories. The CSA, eager to establish itself on the world stage and hungry for raw materials to feed its ever-growing manufacturing sector, began a series of sweeping colonial wars against the nations of Latin America, the first being the Confederate-Mexican War of 1893-1896, a bloody but decisive victory for the CSA. Invading under the pretext of supporting the crumbling regime of aging Emperor Maximilian I against republican rebel groups, the CSA violently suppressed the revolutionaries but then refused to leave at Maximilian's request, instead annexing the country and forcing the royal family into exile back to their native Austria in 1898. The Mexican States of Sonora, Chihuahua, and Baja California Norte and Sur were incorporated directly into the CSA in 1901 after an extensive ehtnic cleansing plan was established by the occupational government, expelling the majority of the Latino population south and replacing them with white Confederate settlers as well as their black slaves. The four states were amalgamated and transformed into the massive fifteenth state of the CSA, named Davis in honor of their first president. Over the next decade Confederate troops engaged in several imperialistic wars with the smaller and weaker nations to Mexico's south and eventually pushed through the entirety of Central America to the southern tip of Panama.
While the nations of Europe were battling one another during the Great War of 1914-1919, the Confederacy had set its sights on South America. Confederate president Hugh Dorsey famously proclaimed his vision of a "vast Confederate empire" stretching from Virginia to the Tierra Del Fuego in 1916. Confederate forces invaded Colombia within months of the speech, eventually overrunning the entire nation as well as all of Venezuela and Ecuador. While the Confederate advance plunged as far as the Amazonian jungles of northern Brazil, a collaboration of Brazilian, Peruvian, Bolivian, and Argentinian troops put their longstanding differences behind them and finally halted the Confederate advance, turning them back behind the borders of Gran Colombia and reaching an armistice with the CSA by 1924. Throughout this period the Confederacy also utilized its powerful navy to conquer many islands throughout the Caribbean, conquering Cuba in 1917 following a bloody yearlong struggle and rolling over the paltry defenses of Haitian and Dominican forces as they took the island of Hispanola. CS forces also seized smaller assets such as the Danish Virgin Islands and would eventually conquer the remaining British and Dutch holdings in the Caribbean decades later after those nations' defeat at the hands of the Third Reich.
Following the halt of their colonial expansion in the mid-1920s the Confederate economy stagnated and the CSA found itself increasingly isolated and scorned by the liberalized postwar democracies of Europe for its institution of slavery as well as its myriad aggressive and jingoistic colonialist wars in the Latin world. With a massive empire to maintain and hostile nations on both its north and south borders, the CSA struggled even before the massive worldwide financial collapse of the 1930s. Within a decade of the end of hostilities in South America the CS found itself mired in economic depression and political isolation, leading to the ouster of the long-dominant Democratic Party from Congress and the Presidency in 1933 at the hands of the quasi-fascist Liberty Party and their charismatic leader Huey Long, who was elected president and immediately pushed through a repeal of the six year, one-term limit on Confederate presidents that had been in place since the CSA's founding.
Although Long is considered by many historians to have been a power-hungry sociopath the sweeping reforms he put in place did galvanize the Confederate economy and help the lot of millions of his countrymen. The traditional institutions of landowning, individualism, and private enterprise that had been foundations of Confederate life since before the CSA even existed were discarded overnight and replaced with an emphasis on a collective effort to pull the nation from its mire that every citizen was obligated to embrace. Borrowing heavily from the example set by Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany, the Liberty Party began a series of massive nationalization projects, seizing textile mills and tobacco plantations as well as putting unemployed whites to work alongside slaves in the construction of broad-scoped public works projects. Within five years millions of miles of roads had been paved, railroad tracks been laid, dams and bridges been constructed, and most importantly arms manufacturing plants erected and opened in preparation for the looming war with the United States.
Tensions finally boiled over with the American interception of the Ribbentrop Telegram, a thinly-veiled wire message from Nazi Germany to Richmond outlining a planned co-ordinated Confederate attack on the United States with the promise of tactical and financial support from the Axis Powers, on May 3, 1942. Long declared war the following day and within a week Confederate forces were driving through the border states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the Midwest. Although initially exceedingly successful the CS forces were eventually halted and turned back somewhat in Ohio and Central Pennsylvania as the numerically superior Federal troops regrouped and halted the Southern advance. Long's ill-advised experiment with German-style blitzkrieg tactics had failed and by the winter of 1942 both sides had settled in and reverted to more conventional World War I-style tactics. For three years little territory would change hands permanently as the fields of the border states would see successive battles and endless bloodshed. Confederate forces fared somewhat better in the sparsely-populated American West, asserting firm control over then-disputed southern Arizona and New Mexico, although their later attempts at plunging further north into the Rockies proved disastrous. Some of the most impressive fighting of the war, however, was displayed not by Confederate soldiers themselves but rather by Mexican conscripts and volunteers fighting for Dixie in California. Lured by promises of handsome pay and greater privileges in the CSA's repressive colonial system, the under-equipped and underpaid Mexican troops nonetheless caused havoc across Southern California, reducing Los Angeles and San Diego to rubble and bogging down US troops for much of the war. The Mexican brigades were largely disbanded as the war dragged on, however, and desertion and defection became rampant as it became apparent that the CS government had no intention of honoring its promises to its Mexican troops and was using them more or less as cannon fodder.
The most lasting victory of the war for the Confederates was the Third Battle of Washington in 1944, which while tactically inconclusive proved to force the permanent evacuation of the District of Columbia by Federal forces. While this turned out to have little significance in the outcome of the larger war it served as a humiliating morale-crusher to the US and the bombed-out ruins of the city remain to this day an enduring symbol of Confederate triumph in the former heart of the Federal government. The outburst of national pride felt following the American evacuation of Washington was tempered, however, by the subsequent assassination of President Long at the hands of the Colored Resistance Front, a guerrilla band of escaped slaves rumored to be financed by the American government.
The Confederates believed that long-awaited assistance from their German allies would finally arrive following the Third Reich's triumph over her European opponents in late 1945, but ended up severely disappointed as the war-weary Nazi regime engaged in only limited and halfhearted naval skirmishes with the US before suing for an armistice. Many Confederate citizens felt betrayed by Germany for reneging on the promises outlined in the Ribbentrop Telegram, as millions of its citizens as well as its president had died with no genuine victory to show for it. After begrudgingly signing a peace with the US in 1946, the previously pro-Axis Liberty Party adopted a curt stance toward Axis Europe and Japan as it focused on rebuilding the CS economy independently as well as consolidating its control over the disaffected and restless population. As the CSA largely isolated itself it stamped out the last genuine vestiges of democracy left, placing severe restrictions of freedom of speech and various other civil liberties while brutally repressing insurgent movements like the CRF. Elections and opposition parties were not officially outlawed but the former were rigged and the latter burdened by such restrictive election laws and enrollment requirements that the Liberty Party ensured its own domination of the CSA's political system, winning every presidential election since Long's initial victory in 1933 and maintaining a massive majority in Congress for the last several decades.
Life in the Confederate States today differs drastically from that in the nearby United States and Canada. The CSA remains the only sovereign state on the planet to continue to officially sanction slavery (although the other Axis powers have often employed and continue to use forced labor unofficially throughout their own colonies). Few private citizens in the CSA own slaves themselves, however - 98% of slaves in the Confederate States today are owned by the large Confederate enterprises and corporations that act in tandem with the fascist, corporatist power structure of the CSA government. Blacks remain the only race of people deemed fit for slave labor, and while free blacks do exist in the CSA most who are legally granted manumission flee north or to Britain or Oceania in the face of extreme institutionalized prejudice and state-sanctioned violence against free blacks.
The Latin population of the CSA's holdings in South and Central America have somewhat of a better albeit still desperate lot under the regime, living in a strictly regimented society based upon racial separation known as apartness, in which the descendants of white colonists (which comprise only about 15% of the colonial population) are afforded access to the best social and public services within white enclaves while the Latin population is relegated to servantry and destitution. Exclusively Latin communities, set aside by the state in remote and often environmentally hostile parts of the colonies, do possess a considerable amount of autonomy although the standard of living in these "tierras natal" was often far more destitute and desperate than life under the boot of the white oppressors in the more habitable parts of the Confederate colonial empire.
Christianity remains the only legal faith in the CSA, with most Confederates themselves adhering to Baptism or Methodism. Catholicism, although a legal and recognized sect of Christianity in the CSA, is often derided and maligned by contemporary Confederate culture as heretical and anti-Catholic sentiment is commonplace amongst the Confederate citizenry, especially in the overwhelmingly Catholic colonies of Latin America. The practice of Judaism is technically outlawed, however Jewish Confederate citizens comprise such a small percentage of the population that private gatherings and observances within homes on the Sabbath and on high holy days are ignored by the police and participants in such events rarely if ever prosecuted. Jews do face considerable prejudice in employment and daily life, however, and like the free black population most have voluntarily relocated to democratic nations like the US.
Modern Confederate popular culture revolves heavily around government propaganda, as only programming and broadcasting deemed sufficiently patriotic is allowed by the state. Pop music consists almost entirely of the gospel and country genres, although the country's rebellious youth frequently listen to outlawed Rock 'n Roll, Rhythym and Blues, and Rap music from the United States. Latin music is still tremendously popular in the colonies and generally tolerated by the occupation government but similarly banned in the CSA proper.
American Football is by far the most popular sport in the CSA, with baseball (generally derided as a "Yankee game") a distant second. The CSA also fields one of the most dominant soccer teams in the world due to its access to the best talent in Central and parts of South America, with only the Greater German Reich claiming more World Cup victories. The game is virtually ignored in the CSA proper, however, considered by the xenophobic populace as too foreign and slow-paced.
In stark contrast to her northern neighbor, the CSA possesses remarkably little public transportation. Railroads are generally eschewed for sprawling freeways modeled on the German autobahnthat crisscross the country, as Confederate access to cheap oil and German and Japanese cars (as well as home-built automobiles) made car culture an integral part of daily Confederate life. The vast majority of Confederate citizens live in suburban or exurban settings, with certain urban downtowns completely devoid of people after 5PM and others designated as ghettos for the slave population.