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Warning: Deliberate ASB
The POD dates back to 1795, in the aftermath of the American and French Revolutions. Oppressed Newfoundland fishermen were sick of being kept down by London, and decided to take to arms. The bloodbath engulfed the entire colony in a 12-year Civil War. The war took many forms, ranging from conventional combat, to general strikes, to First Nations uprisings, to terrorist acts committed by organizations such as the Newfoundland Liberation Front.
The 1807 Treaty of St. John's ended the war, granting Newfoundland its independence as the Republic of Newfoundland, an unstable democracy similar to the Weimar Republic of OTL.
In 1815, a group of monarchists participated in the March on Water Street and overthrew the government, still in its infancy. They established a military dictatorship with Emperor Francis I at its head.
The Empire of Newfoundland participated on the side of the Central Powers in both World Wars, and rose to superpower status during Cold War I, siding with the US against the USSR.
The Empire is a member of the United Nations, and has a permanent seat on the Security Council.
Despite being a close ally of the United States during Cold War I, relations after 1991 began to sour as the two nations each felt threatened by such a strong neighbor. By the first half of the 1990s, Cold War II had begun.