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The Republic of England is a European country located on the island of Great Britain, across the English Channel from France. Its capital is London, and other major cities include Birmingham, Liverpool, Plymouth, Manchester and York. The country has a turbulent history since its humiliating defeat in the Imperial War, but since the mid-1960's has experienced peace, partially thanks to support from the United States of America. The country's primary language is English, and the dominant religion is the Anglican Church, although Roman Catholicism and Judaism have always been strong, and recently Islam and Hindu are growing faiths in the public sphere
Collapse of British Empire
Following Napoleon's successful Forty Days Campaign and the Surrender at York, the British Empire was immediately disbanded of all territories. The Treaty of Strasbourg partitioned the British Isles into three kingdoms; England, Scotland and Ireland, with Napoleon making sure the Irish knew that his support was fully thrown behind their fledgling state against English aggression. With the collapse of their once-mighty Empire and the devastation of their homeland, England became embroiled in years of internal conflict. The 1820's were a time of struggle and strife for the British, who found themselves with no allies following the Trans-Atlantic Alliance of France and the United States refusing to assist the dying nation.
Victorian Era and Position as Counterweight
The ascension of Queen Victoria to the throne in 1834 allowed for the English regain hope towards the reaffirmation of their power as a country. The Industrial Revolution radically changed the English economy and for a time, England was a competitor against the powerful Rhine-based Imperial economy. With semi-colonial holdings in the Caribbean and on the East African coast, and in Australia, England was the only European power moderately competitive with the expansive French Empire overseas. As the 19th century came to a close, however, Imperial power once more increased and the Japanese and Chinese flexed their imperialistic muscles in the Asian sphere, causing a decline in English colonial weight and in the English economy.
Revolution of 1909 and Socialist RevolutionQueen Victoria died in 1901, giving rise to Edward VII as the King of England. The English economy was in rapid decline, however, which caused a deepening unpopularity for the traditional nobility. The London Riot of 1903 was put down violently by King Edward, only further building his discontent. In 1909, the storming of Buckingham Palace by an angry mob started off the Revolution of 1909, sometimes referred to as the English Revolution. Edward fled the country first to Ireland, then in secret to America, before finally arriving in Australia and founding the Kingdom of Oceania.
Back in England, the fledgling Republic of England only drove the nation deeper into decline. The French Empire backed a cabal of industrialists who effectively bought the periodical general elections in Parliament, and every few months a new government came to power.
Finally, the English populace had had enough, especially from the constant violence in the streets from poor street gangs. As the dismal European economy in the late 1910's and early 1920's only grew darker, the Socialists - feeding off the teachings of Karl Marx, a German-Imperial philosopher - staged a coup in London in 1920 to take control of Parliament. The emergent Socialist leader was David Barham, who called for workers reform in the factories of England.
The Socialist Revolution lasted all the way into 1922, when Barham's government finally ended the instability and began safely instituting their Five-Year Goals for the fledgling English economy.
Socialist Rule and Irish War
Barham found an unlikely ally in Albert Bonaparte of France, who came to power following the Iron Revolution in France in 1925. With two strong, authoritarian powers across the English Channel from each other, the late 20's and early 30's were marked by economic success for both parties. The English economy was at its strongest in fifty years under Barham, who was suddenly and unceremoniously removed from power in 1933 by Francis Cumberland, a right-wing member of the Party.
Cumberland was not as cordial with the French; he saw Imperial influence in the British Isles as destructive to the independence and self-sufficiency of the Republic. Albert's son Sebastien, recognizing this tenacity, immediately advised the Foreign Ministry to back off of the English and disengage friendly relations.
In 1934, the clouds of war floated over Europe for the first time in decades. The world watched as the resurgent English Army postured itself for battle with the French, who were equally eager to flew their overhauled and modernized military muscles.
England invaded the Republic of Ireland on July 10th, 1935. Believing the Irish would capitulate, the English first sent a strong force to secure the Isle of Manx with which to control the field of battle more readily.
The Irish on Manx, however, were ready, and the English threw wave after wave of soldiers at the Irish who did not give up. The bloody Battle of Manx drew out into a two-month debacle and embarrassment for the English Army, which finally broke the Irish defense on September 21st and secured the island, although a notable resistance remained for the remainder of the war.
England had lost almost 50,000 men to the Irish casualty of 11,000 on Manx; it was one of the most lopsided Pyrrhic victories in modern warfare. The English Army landed in Ireland in mid-September and found itself fighting a losing war in the south of the country. Their allies the Scottish extended the Socialist Republic no help, and it was France, in fact, that came to Ireland's aid by invading not only the Irish but England herself.
The war would last in bloody stalemate all the way into early 1937, the year 1936 being one of the darkest in English history. The Irish, who had been bullied by England for centuries, gleefully extolled revenge upon the English army, and in the end England nearly a million soldiers to the bloodshed.Cumberland was removed from power in 1937 due to his mishandling of the Irish War, and new Premier Neville Chamberlain took over and quickly brokered a treaty which left England gutted at the hands of the Empire and even the Irish. The "Appeaser" was deeply unpopular and stepped down in 1939 in favor of Winston Churchill.
French Civil War and Anarchy
See: The Anarchy
Churchill began to implement more conservative socialism in his economic policies as he struggled to help England to recover from the disastrous Irish War. The Treaty of Belfast had created stipulations on reparations to the Irish and French, quotas on the size of the English army and the complete dissolution of the English Navy. England was made a protectorate of the French Empire and all its colonial possessions were redistributed to Ireland and France.
France sank into a bloody civil war of its own in the early 1940's, and Churchill sided with Sebastien of the upstart European Empire in the east. In 1944, on the eve of Sebastien's victory over the forces of his brother's remaining allies, Churchill was assassinated.
His successor, Jonathon Trenton, was a woefully ineffective leader. In 1946, he was murdered by members of the Socialist Party in the Parliament Massacre and replaced with Francis Turley, an iron-fisted leader who arranged for the exile of many of his more capable advisors due to their perceived insubordination. On January 8th, 1950, he stepped down as party leader after London and Manchester erupted into civil unrest.
The Anarchy, as it came to be called, was the bloodiest period in English history. Following the Irish War failure and the turbulent politics of the 1940's, when the country slid deeper and deeper into an economic hole, the Anarchy was a time when many cities were completely lawless. Policemen and governors alike were murdered daily, entire villages were massacred by roaming militias, and in February 1952, at the peak of the Anarchy, the abandoned Houses of Parliament were burned to the ground in London.
Throughout the Anarchy, France remained largely silent, choosing not to involve itself in "domestic English matters." The Scottish Army occupied parts of northern England to provide stability, but found themselves drawn into a lengthy insurgency conflict known as the Yorkshire Wars that lasted until 1955. Ireland funded the strongest of the militias, the English Worker's Army, as the instability increased.It wound up being America that came to England's aid. Prescott Bush, at the time President of the United States, sent a 55,000 man strong army to secure Wales in summer 1952, arranging the move with members of Congress and both candidates in that fall's election. Bush's Wales Campaign was largely successful, establishing security along the Welsh coastline long enough for his successor, Richard Russell, to send an additional 100,000 soldiers in the "English Adventure". American forces found themselves in the same position that Scotland had; deeply embroiled in one of the most destructive civil wars in modern history. France's Civil War had been fought almost like a traditional war, with armies and leaders and by securing enemy territory. In England, there was no knowing who the enemy was.
In November 1953, American forces under General Omar Bradley secured London and, with their control of Thames and Barham Airfields, arranged for the London Airlift. French forces had arrived in England a few months prior to "help" end the conflict, but American leadership sensed that Emperor Sebastien sought to subjugate the nation and potentially annex it. The London Airlift helped keep the population of London safe as French forces surrounded London, sometimes even coming into contact with American units, but no violence was ever reported in this earliest of Cold War standoffs.
In 1954, the French capitulated and withdrew from England; Sebastien had his eyes on the Balkans anyways, and was already posturing for a war to secure his power in eastern Europe where he had made many allies during the Civil War.The American presence in London allowed for the creation of a secure government there headed by Charles Morgan, who organized the English Republican Army to retake control of Southern England. The "Morgan War" as it was called resulted in the re-establishment of a legitimate English state, although his success would not be finalized until the Siege of Liverpool to root out the last of the socialist remnant in 1956.
Economic Turmoil and English Constitution
Charles Morgan saw the American military withdraw in late 1955 when it was clear that the ERA was in control. England had just undergone nearly six years of anarchy, at a level beyond ordinary civil war. Almost ten million deaths had occurred during this time, added to the hundreds of thousands killed in the Irish conflict and the instability in the years that followed. England had thus lost over ten million of its inhabitants over a twenty year span, crippling the nation. The country's economy was non-existent; factories, farms and commercial centers alike had been devastated in the Anarchy. Villages had been wiped off the map, forests burned; the country had been laid to waste by its own inhabitants. Starvation was rampant and aid from the continent, Ireland and America was not nearly enough to keep the new republic running.
Morgan saw the opportunity to rebuild England into a true republic. Instead of the weak republic formed out of the shell of the Kingdom of England, and instead of the failed Socialist experiment, Morgan - who himself had been a powerful member of the Socialist Party - sought to build a new England, which defined itself not by its bygone glory but by its reconstruction out of the Anarchy.
"From the ashes we shall rise, like a Phoenix," he said in a 1957 speech to the new Parliament, which held its first meeting's in St. Paul's Basilica while a new House of Parliament was built on the site of the old one. The Phoenix Program was the name of his massive attempt to reinvigorate the economy.
With American aid trickling dry as a steep recession struck the US in the late 1950's, Morgan turned instead to Asia for support. The English presence in Singapore and the Oceaniac ties to the old British Empire gave Morgan new allies. While he initially butted heads with Oceania's young Queen Elizabeth, they soon came to form a close and lasting friendship as the British expatriates helped England restore its economy.
In 1959, Morgan presented the English Constitution to Parliament, noting how the British Empire had no constitution and that both preceding republics had failed miserably without true guidance. Morgan promised that should the Constitution be passed, he would immediately step down as Prime Minister and await his formal election to the post by Parliament and a coming general election.
The Constitution was overwhelmingly passed, and was seen as a huge victory for the rebuilding of England. Morgan was also reelected overwhelmingly by Parliament to continue in his office.
The Stable Sixties and Cold War AllianceWith continuous funds of foreign investment and a surprising "baby boom" in the late 1950's and early 1960's, England began recovering sooner than expected. The Morgan government slaved tirelessly to provide construction projects which in turn provided jobs and income for the poor, largely displaced population of England. The "Reinvention" or "Phoenix Program" was an enormous success. As the American economy righted ship in the early 60's and hawkish President Hoover was in the White House, hundreds of thousands of American workers and soldiers headed to England to assist in the rebuilding of the infrastructure and to train the ERA into a modern army. The United States sold several hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military equipment to England, including tanks, fighter planes, helicopters and technology. While some feared an even bloodier Anarchy should Morgan's government collapse, Hoover's mindset was that he was earning himself a key ally on France's doorstep - few could deny that a Cold War had begun.
Morgan's Tories found themselves outmaneuvered by the Whigs in the 1966 general election; a surprising move, considering that Morgan was considered the "Father of the Republic" and a national hero. It as the local MP's that had created the trouble, however; corruption was vast in the smaller bureaucratic departments, even though Morgan was well liked. Donald Sutcliffe, who was the former President of the English Judaic Council, rode the election as party leader and became the first Jewish head of state in an industrialized country.
Under Sutcliffe, the "Stable Sixties" continued. In few other times in history had there been such an unfettered boom of economic growth and infrastructure projects. The Phoenix Program, when it expired in 1969 after a ten-year implementation, had returned England somewhat to the ranks of industrialized nations. Starvation had decreased by 80%, and while poverty was still a severe problem, the return to law to the streets of a country that had only fifteen years prior been gutting itself was hailed as a major achievement.
England's government also grew tighter with the Americans. Their traditional rivalry with France had resulted in being invaded twice in the past forty years; England was still very weak, and not yet ready to fully take on the might of the French Empire. President Van Dyke, who behind his charismatic smile was every bit the Cold War calculator Hoover had been, established four permanent US Army bases in England, three of which were in the South, and built a permanent Naval yard in Plymouth and two Air Force bases in the London vicinity. He also built three missile silos outside of Dover which could launch short-range missiles with a nuclear warhead attached into France, and could reach Paris.
This made England a centerpiece of the Cold War standoff; French nukes in Quebec had finally been counteracted with American nukes in England. The detente, as Sebastien often called it, was now equal. And it gave England a sense of national pride; with a very powerful army required by the Sutcliffe, and later Minor governments, and mandatory conscription, England was prepared to defend their beloved homeland. They had truly arisen from the ashes of the Anarchy.
England as an Economic Power and Emerging World PlayerSutcliffe would be voted out of power in 1972 to usher in the Eustace Minor government - Minor would himself last until 1981. The 1980's were a politically turbulent era in England; Cold War tensions were at an all-time high, but the emerging economic clout of the English manufacturing industry and power as an exporter and trader made many English question their reliance on American protection and business interests pumping money in and out of their country. The leftist, French-sympathetic Labour Party found themselves at odds with the more nationalist Whigs. General elections resulted in a new majority party every three years. Despite this, the private sector of England experienced comfortable growth in the 1980's, largely due to the gradual easing of American control of the economy thanks to a severe, stagnating depression in the United States. England and Scotland grew closer together to mutually buffer against the powerful Irish economy, and signed a mutual protection agreement, finally bringing the long-neutral Scottish into the Cold War. In 1990 the Whigs were elected again in a massive landslide, with John Cleese as their party leader and new Prime Minister. The Nineties in England were considered a golden age of the modern Republic - the cultural, economic, political, and social prosperity was unmatched in continental Europe or the recession-ravaged United States. England assisted the United States in invading neighboring Scotland in 1997 and helped fight Cyrene in 1998, which drew the ire of the generally pacifist nation, especially the bungled occupation in Scotland and the violent Al-Baudain incident in the Saharan desert. Due to a groundswell of unpopularity, Cleese announced he would not lead the Whigs in the 1999 general election, and they subsequently lost to the John Lennon-led Labour. Labour would in turn do little for England in its six years in power; immigration became a contentious issue, as did corruption. The Whigs returned under Jeremy Irons in 2005 and since then, England's continuing emergence as a regional power and global economy have continued, and are expected to continue well into the next decade, with Hugh Grant taking over for Irons in 2008. That the nation could have recovered from the darkest hours of socialism and Anarchy into what it is today is truly remarkable.
The Prime Minister of England is the Head of Parliament as well as its Head of State; he must be a member of parliament (MP) prior to election, and since 1977 it is required that the Prime Minister is also the head of the reigning majority party or majority coalition. Currently, Hugh Grant is the Prime Minister, having been selected to succeed Jeremy Irons in a Parliamentary special election in October of 2008 and being reconfirmed without opposition in the Whig Party leadership election in December of that same year.
The Parliament is a 601 member unicameral body that stands in a general election every three years. Since the early 1970's, the Parliament has been dominated by two parties: the generally moderate, center-right Whig Party, and the liberal, left-wing Labour Party. There has not been a significant hard right-wing influence in the English government since the 1980s, and both Whig and Labour have drifted towards the center over the past two decades. Currently, the Whigs hold 342 seats to Labour's 259, the tally counts since the May 3rd, 2008 when the new government was formed.
The Parliament, which is run by the Prime Minister, also has numerous other important positions: two Speakers, one from each ruling party, two Deputy Prime Ministers, and a ten-member Cabinet to oversee various bureaucratic ministries. The Cabinet, by law, must be bipartisan, although commonly only one member of the minority party is recruited to the Cabinet.
In the wake of the destructive Anarchy, England has become a multicultural haven in the last half-century, especially the last twenty years. Immigrants from Gangestan and Malabar have flooded into England, as have people of Arab and Turkish origin. The growth of the immigrant community has not resulted in the same melting-pot mentality that exists in America - nevertheless, the balance of mass immigration has become a huge political issue in England since the late 1990's, and the Labour government of John Lennon was roundly criticized for "opening the gates to anyone," as Irons and the Whigs claimed.
While the Anglican Church is the primary religious body in England, Judaism is the second largest religion (just over 20% of the population, compared to the 15% Catholic rate and 7% Muslim population). Thanks to the efforts of the English Judaic Council during the Phoenix Program of the late 1950's, a mass-immigration of Jews from across Europe (especially Eastern Europe) occurred all the way into the early 1960's. The influx of Jews is largely credited with the election victory of Donald Sutcliffe in 1966. England is known for having the most well-integrated and tolerated Jewish population in the world - anti-Semitism is at a comparative low among Western, industrialized countries. The Jewish population of England controls an enormous amount of wealth and are in many places critical players in the economy.
The Catholic population of England experienced enormous losses during the Anarchy - as many as one in three English Catholics were killed, and hundreds of thousands fled the country to Oceania or the United States. While a large number of English Catholics have returned, their stake in the population is considerably lower than before. No Catholic has yet been elected to Prime Minister as of 2010, and the English Catholic culture is one of muted ambivalence - a survivors guilt permeates the community, and numerous memorials and museums have been dedicated to the violent slaughter of Catholics during the Anarchy.
Pre-Anarchy English culture comes in many forms that vary from the sarcastic, class-critical works of Jane Austen during the 1800's, to the Socialist-style propaganda and film work of the 1920's and 30's. The works of Austen and the films of Socialist director David Rochester are still analyzed and popularized throughout the Western world. The period pieces of the 1800's offer an excellent view into the "culture of castration," as famed English author Ian Fleming once put it. The English of the 1800's had been a once-mighty Empire humbled at the hands of Napoleon and turned into a shadow of their former selves, and this is reflected in much of the artistic expression of that time.
The Anarchy tore England to shreds, but while there was much doom-and-gloom in the poetry and many books of the period (most notably, Fields by Robert L. Chaplain) the attitude in post-Anarchy England is one partially of careful optimism, and one partially of quiet pride. Morgan's efforts to rebuild the country created an English need for heroes and icons, and in both the fictional Anarchy vigilante Martin Jones (created by William Hamilton) and in the fictional Victorian noble-turned-rogue Lord Shetland, they found heroes who protected the weak from the cruel and power-hungry.