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The Second Global WarThe Second Global War, which started with the assassination of the Turkish Prime Minister in Belgrade in July of 1911, ended up engulfing the whole world, with only a few nations managing not to get involved, most notably Switzerland and Denmark-Norway. The war itself only ended five years later with the surrender of the last British and Confederate armies in 1916, and after an estimated 12.5 million young men had been killed, and over one trillion dollars had been spent by all the powers on the five year war.
New weapons, such as the "landship" (nicknamed the "tank" by some based on its design, and the name stuck), and poison gas made its combat debut during the course of the war, while weapons such as the airplane, the machine gun and the submarine, which had been used in previous wars, had found their role in "modern warfare", and would later have their role expanded in future conflicts.
The war, which ended with the German surrender at 10:00, on September 10, 1916, resulted in victory for the Grand Alliance, lead by France, Russia and the United States of America, over the United Coalition, headed by the United Kingdom, Germany and the Confederate States of America. Vast swaths of land are transferred between the victors and losers, and the defeated were forced to pay reparations and had their military's restricted and modern weapons dismantled.
But it wasn't just the defeated who paid for the war: Emperor Louis, who many said was the "saber-rattler" of the pre-war era, remarked that it was a "Pyrrhic Victory", and that "...this war defies all the notions of war that anybody may have had before. Any romantic and glorious vision of battle that we may have had in 1911 is gone now in 1917; replaced with death, sorrow, misery."In all, over 40 million casualties (killed, wounded and missing) on all sides were estimated, out of a guessed 95 million men who were called to the colours by all nations. it was estimated that, in present dollars, that over $850 billion dollars was spent by all nations in their war efforts. Enormous stretches of productive land in Europe, Asia, North and South America were laid waste, and, more so than in any other time, the people at home were exposed to the terrors of war: bombing, artillery, occupation and resistance.
The outbreak of the "Soldier's Flu" at the end of the war, so called because the sickness came at the time of the demobilization of soldiers at the end of the war, so many assumed that the flu spread because of the movement of the soldiers back home. The flu eventually resulted in the death of over 25 million, even more than had been killed in the battlefields months before. But as quickly as the flu struck, it had disappeared by the winter of 1917.
Blaming the Defeat
Almost as soon as the armistice was signed, the job of blaming the failure of the war began, and almost always resulted in persecution and racism directed at multiple cultures and the politicians. In Germany, the collapse of the Army and the Reich in the last four months of the war was blamed on the Jews, the "spineless" politicians and the Communists, especially after the "September Revolt" by Communists in several major cities. The defeat of the so called "Socialist Republic of Germany" resulted in men having to be drawn from the fronts of the war to put the failed state down. Britain, her army having never actually been defeated on the continent, instead blamed the Irish and the African forces brought to Europe during the war for the defeat, and a wave of prejudice and racism swept the empire. Canada specifically targeted the Indians, most of whom supported her enemies, especially Assiniboia, though the Quebecois also contributed, seeing the war as an "English revenge" for the failure of expanding west in the 1870's. The Confederate States of America blamed the former slaves and the entrenched politicians and generals in the army, who earned their stripes and stars based mostly on their ancestry than merit alone. Also, the constant opposition to expanding industrial production in the conservative country was also seen as a major factor.
In every defeated nation, new right wing political parties were formed to "take back the country" and "rebuild her pride," while Socialist and Communist parties also gained influence, though were hampered by their opposition to war and nationalism.
The "Brave New World"The end of the war resulted in the collapse of several empires: The Ottoman Empire fell into Civil War, which resulted in the creation of the Balkan Confederacy, Bulgaria, Romania, and the Arabian Union by the end of the war in 1922, with Turkey being reduced to a small rump state. In Asia, the Emperor of China was forced from power, and China fell into civil war between different groups and warlords, which Japan and Russia used as an excuse to expand their power into the devastated nation.
The redrawing of the map in Europe resulted in nations created in the First Global War being "united" with the nations they were formerly part of. But the biggest loser was Germany, which was forced to surrender land to Austria-Hungary, Poland, France, the Netherlands and Russia. And, according to the Treaty of Versailles that ended the war between the Grand Alliance and Germany, Germany was reduced to an army of 150,000, and all submarines, airplanes and tanks were to be dismantled, and reparations totaling over 10 billion francs were to be paid. The abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the establishment of the so called Frankfurt Republic, left the German people bitter, being "stabbed in the back" by the same officials who had just took power, or so the Generals and nationalists claimed.
Depression and Revolution
By forcing the nations that were defeated to pay reparations, many, such as Argentina, Germany and the Confederacy were forced into near bankruptcy, massive hyper-inflation and economic crisis. Millions of soldiers who had just suffered through years of war came home to be confronted with unemployment and starvation, while an entire generation was nearly destroyed: either killed, injured or emotionally devastated by the war.
During the war, the Russian Bolshevik party, lead by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Josef Stalin, attempted to seize power from the Romanov dynasty in the First Bolshevik Revolt. Czar Nicholas II, although nearly captured in the fight in St Petersburg, was able to escape, and later lead the army that crushed the short-lived Soviet Republic of Russia, killing Stalin and trying Lenin to life imprisonment. The leader of the Russian Socialist Union, Leon Trotsky, called him "a brave, but foolhardy man." Trotsky was part of the coalition in the Duma that had agreed to the war, and was elected the first post-war Prime Minister of Russia, and he enacted reforms of the army and the economy that were exposed in the light of the war.
Other revolutions gripped China, defeated by the Russian's and the Japanese in the war, and soon groups from Chang Kai-shek's Nationalist Front to Mao Zedong's Chinese Communist Party, as well as multiple other warlords and political factions, all fought to try to take over the government, which had started with the abdication of the Chinese Emperor in 1915 after the defeats brought on by Japan and Russia.
The Rise of National Socialism
Other revolutions took place in Argentina, which ended with the radical Argentinean Socialist Front, lead by Nicolás Repetto, to take power in 1923. He worked hard to rebuild the economy of the devastated nation, and soon brought some semblance of stability, while imprisoning his opponents and taking away many rights, such as free speech and free press. His "National Socialism", as he called it, soon became the model for many other groups throughout the world, though few would be as successful as him until after the stock market crash of 1930.
The basic tenets of Repetto's National Socialism was that Marxist theory that said nationalism and socialism are not compatible is wrong, and that they can be harnessed together, to bring individualistic nations together, and that the government can control the industry and all productive businesses for a common, "National" goal. Repetto believed that apart, socialism and nationalism could not work separately, as the people won't support the government taking over the nation to create a classless and "united" world if their is no symbol or idea that can hold the people together to achieve this goal, while they would support Nationalistic parties, even if they don't have a goal or ideal, as they use the ideas of "nation", "strength" and "superiority" to bring the people together.
The "Booming 20's"
The era after the original recession at the end of the Second Global War soon turned into an era of increased prosperity and technological revolution that brought much of the world economy back from the depths of the war.
In the United States, the presidency of Eugene V. Debs, the first Socialist president in the nations history, was a time of victory and prosperity, and he was long seen as one of the greatest presidents of the Union. Despite his opposition to the war the US was thrown into, he managed to rally the nation and drive back the Confederate invasion, and ultimately capture Kentucky and Western and Northern Virginia, as well as the sparsely populated Oregon Territory from Britain and Desert Territory from the Pacific Republic. His successor, Charles Edward Russell presided over one of the largest booms in American history: prices dropped, factory outputs soared, and the move from rural to urban areas accelerated. This was also the case in the other nations of North America, such as Assiniboia and Alyseka, though in Canada and the Confederacy, the difficulty of paying reparations drained heavily on the economy, though the government tried to do its best to hide this from the people, relying on borrowing and tariffs to raise the funds needed.
As the memories of the war time hardships and deprivations were slowly replaced by cheap and plentiful consumer products, low unemployment rates and large amounts of disposable income for some and cheap credit for many more, allowed many to purchase products only available to the rich before the war, such as radio's, novels and other forms of entertainment, including some of the first motion pictures, such as the well known Birth of a Nation by Confederate D. W. Griffith, which was finally finished after the war in 1920, detailing the creation of the Confederacy, and the well known Napoleon released in France in 1923 by Jacques Feyder about the rise of the first Emperor of the Empire. Both these movies were seen to have reawakened the nationalistic feelings of the nations they were released, and both were heavily supported by nationalistic parties: Thomas Dixon, Jr., the writer of the book of the same name that influenced Birth of a Nation and a President of the Confederacy and the right wing in France for Napoleon.
In other places such as the US and Russia, waves such as Jazz and art deco architecture heavily influenced the post war period, and the medium of radio was highly influential throughout the industrialized world, bringing news and entertainment to millions, while motion pictures, besides the few mentioned above, were escapist fantasies and comedies, and such actors as Charlie Chaplain in Britain, Douglas Fairbanks in the US and Max Linder in France delighting audiences. However, the right decried the "collapse" of social values, which many linked to the "watershed" moment of the Second Great War which brought an end to the Victorian Era: shocked, disillusioned and embittered by their war experiences, the social values of previous age was virtually destroyed, replaced by a "you only live once" social perception.
The "National Socialist Experiment"
Elsewhere in Europe, the experiment of national socialism in South America was seen as the only way to restore the defeated nations to prosperity, especially in Germany and Britain, which were suffering from weak, ineffective government, hyperinflation and the bitterness of being forced into "submission" by the victorious powers of the war all lead to extremist groups in multiple states to come to power. The first was General Benito Mussolini in Italy, de-facto head of the Nazionale Partito Socialista d'Italia, the National Socialist Party of Italy, in 1925. After a bloody coup, the charismatic Italian military officer was named the acting-President of the Italian Republic, but he soon called for Italy to rise, and regain the "Glory of the Roman Empire for the Modern Age." He nationalized heavy industry, transport and the banks, though small shops were allowed to remain in private hands, but under tight government control. All opposing politicians were arrested, and either forced into exile or silence, or sent to "concentration camps" in the Alps or Sicily.
Ernst Röhm, who had rose to the rank of Major in the German Army before being demobilized in the forced downsizing of the armed forces, was one of the founders of a radical communist group in the aftermath of the war, but he left soon after, mostly because the majority were devout Marxist's, and believed Nationalism is incompatible with Communism. Röhm knew that German's were very nationalistic, and that they wanted revenge for the "stab in the back", so he left to found the German United Front in 1924, but, with the onset of the economic boom, he could not achieve any power in Germany, and the Frankfurt Republic was beginning to get itself working together. That, and the assassination of a Communist leader in Munich lead to the forced disbandment of the extreme groups in the "Hamburg Laws" in 1926, and the arrest of the more vocal leaders. Röhm himself fled to Italy, were he became an adviser to Mussolini, while helping to rebuild the National Socialist movement in Germany, reformed with the unification of several nationalist and socialist groups into the German National Socialist Union, or the Deutsche Nationalsozialismus-Vereinigung in 1927.
The British Empire, with most of its colonial empire in Africa stripped away, and Ireland given freedom, the government of
In the Confederacy, war veteran Sam Rayburn came to lead the Confederate Liberty Party, which advocated a more centralized National Socialism, as the ideas of Marx and Repetto were frowned upon. rayburn called for a "Liberated Confederacy" from the ideology of the US and France, as well as expanding industry, which the Liberty Party named as one reason the South lost the war, as well as the "mules" in power since the Confederate Independence War, which frowned upon new ideas, like his own. However, for the longest time, he was assumed to nothing more than a "rabble rouser", especially after the attempted assassination of President Pat Morris Neff by a Liberty Party affiliate, when the Liberty Party was barred from running candidates, and Rayburn was thrown into prison, where he wrote his political ideas down, later released in a book called "To Restore Honor."
The Stock Market CrashFor several weeks leading up to the infamous simultaneous New York and Paris Stock Market crash, the value of massively overpriced stocks and bonds were starting to fall, but on July 19, 1931, the bottom fell out, and some stocks lost over 75% of their value, wiping out millions of dollars of wealth in a few hours. The collapse of the French and the US economies, the largest in the world, unleashed a domino effect that quickly engulfed the world. The hardest hit were the losers of the previous war, who were burdened by payments to the victors, who were still forced to pay their debts, which were financed by loans from other countries, who in turn had to get loans from other nations, some of which became heavily reliant on the loans and the war reparations that yet other nations had to pay, in a massive circle that engulfed the world. Of all the nations in the world, it is generally accepted that only two managed to avoid the full effects: Argentina, with its National Socialism policies that ensured everyone had a job, and many who still lost theirs were involved in massive works projects that built new factories, highways and expanded the army. The other was, surprisingly, Assiniboia. Despite its close ties with the US and Alyseka, two of the hardest hit countries, Assiniboia managed to avoid the worst effects of the depression due to the traditional Native American and Metis idea's of the powerful helping the weak: despite high unemployment even before the stock market crash, quick action by the government helped many to keep their farms and businesses, and the overwhelming majority of people still could put food on the table for their families, by an effort to keep people employed and new make work projects that helped open the north of the nation, such as railways, canals and roads. Port Riel in the north was entirely built by men who lost their jobs, allowing a new link to Europe besides the port of Thunder Bay for Assiniboian Grain and products. The "Assiniboian Miracle", as it was called, was later to be replicated by other democracies, though not to the same degree of effort and success as witnessed in the northern land.
Collapse of Austria-HungaryIn comparison to Assiniboia, Austria-Hungary collapsed in 1931. The victory of the multi-cultural Hapsburg state in the Second Global War had given the increasingly unstable empire a valuable and much needed support to ensure that it wouldn't collapse. However, the different groups of the Empire, lead by the Czech's and Croatians, demanded greater representation in the empire. Although the Hungarians were prepared to allow this, the Germanic Austrians refused, as they were already a minority compared to the other groups, and their hold on power would be forever shattered. Tensions continued to be held in check by vague promises and not so subtle threats, but the economic crisis was the final straw. Czech patriots demanded a greater voice, and when the Austrian's, under Prime Minister Engelbert Dollfuss refused, they declared the creation of Czechoslovakia, and named Milan Rastislav Štefánik, a Slovak, the first Prime Minister and Edvard Beneš, a Czech, the first President. Although the Emperor, Ferdinand II, tried to bring all sides to the table (as he had sought, since the day the was crowned in 1916, to try to keep the empire together), but failed. The Austria-Hungarian Army under General Adolf Hitler refused to put down the revolt, instead marching on Vienna and forcing Prime Minister Dollfuss to flee into Exile in Italy. General Hitler then declared that, with Hungarian support, that Austria-Hungary was dissolved, to be split in Austria and Hungary, with the area known as Croatia agreeing in a referendum to remain part of Austria. Hitler, in elections that followed, was named the first democratically elected President of Austria, while Miklós Horthy continued on as Prime Minister of Hungary. The Austria-Hungarian Empire was no more, Ferdinand II being stripped of his title as Emperor of Austria, instead becoming, in name only, the King of Hungary.
The Rise of the Right in FranceThe French Empire suffered much more than many other nations, with its northern, industrialized area having been ripped up and dismantled by the German and later British armies during the war, and with over 35% of the nation's youth having been killed or maimed, and the majority of the rest traumatized and shocked by the devastation. Matters were not helped when the beloved Emperor Louis died in his sleep on April 17, 1923. His successor, his cousin Victor Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned soon after, but due to his age, died just over three years into his reign, to be followed by his twelve year old son, Louis II, while the National Assembly appointed a Regent Council to rule the nation until the young emperor came of age in 1932. The stock market crash, as well as the assassination of Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré on June 3, 1932 by a radical communist, the atmosphere of the French Empire was very tense and threatening to break into civil war, until Fédération Impérialiste Française leader, Philippe Pétain, was named to the premiership a few weeks after heated negotiations, the first major test of Emperor Louis II's reign. Almost immediately after taking office, the war hero sought to restore calm and security to the empire. However, this would be achieved by following Sorelist ideas, which he called the Imperial Restoration by arresting communists and political opponents, and taking over the media and press, and the Service de Sécurité Impérial quickly took over policing and security within the empire. His heavy handed actions were welcomed by those who were used to the steady hand of Louis I, and of the political situation from before the war, when the Empire was safe and secure, and which Pétain offered. His dictatorship soon made the National Assembly answerable only to him, and he took it upon himself to make sure the young Louis II will come to power in a powerful and strong France, with the ideals he called for to restore France. Regulation of industry, and massive government projects soon restored the economy, and by 1937, a labor shortage was the only reason some ambitious projects, such as rebuilding Paris into a more streamlined, modern capital, had to be scaled down or canceled.
The "Swastika Revolution"With the full effects of the Great Depression starting to be felt in 1931-32, extremist parties on all sides began to gain support, especially the National Socialists. The success of Argentina and, to some extent, Italy in surviving the Great Depression gave major incentive to other National Socialist Parties in other nations. The German DNSV made a strong showing in the 1932 Presidential election, with Röhm coming in second to the incumbent, Franz von Papen, and again in the 1933 Reichstag election, second only to the German Social Republicans lead by Otto Braun, and the two parties agreed to form a ruling coalition, with Röhm as Vice-Premier and Minister of War and Braun as Premier. However, the DNSV used this opportunity to slowly turn public opinion against the Social Republican's, saying their centralist views were restricting the leftist National Socialist agenda, which would guarantee work and restoring Germany's honor and strength. In the election of 1935, Röhm was given the majority of seats he needed, and he became the Premier of Germany. However, before he could take office, a massive explosion destroyed the Reichstag, killing over 130 members of the body, including thirty members of the DNSV. Röhm is used this as in excuse to arrest all the members of the Reichstag who did not agree with him, and got President von Papen to sign the Emergency Act, which gave the office of the Premier almost unlimited power, and the right to rule by decree as long as the Emergency, decided by the Reichstag, existed. And with the DNSV in the overwhelming majority, basically the "emergency" could last as long as long Röhm decided it should. In the 1936 election, still held despite the "emergency", Röhm easily won, defeating von Papen 56% to 32%. Röhm now held both legislative and executive power, and merged the two offices into that of the "Führer", or leader.
In Britain, the Imperial Socialist Party, lead by veteran John Beckett made its slow rise to power, having only been founded in 1924. However, Beckett's call for a "New Empire" resonated with the people, and in the 1936 election, the BIP won the most seats in the House of Commons. However, King George V died on January 20, 1936, two days before the end of the election. It was known that George V was secretly opposed to the BIP, calling them "a rabble rousing lot," and was considering seeing if any other party could form a coalition to prevent Beckett and his National Socialists from taking power. However, the new king, Edward VIII was known to have sympathies with the National Socialists, so in his first act as the new monarch of Great Britain, he made Beckett the Prime Minister. Immediately after, the Imperial Party and Prime Minister Beckett passed a series of laws, called the "Four and Twenty Songbirds" after the children's fairy tales for the 24 major acts of the packed Parliament, which dissolved all political parties except the BIP, the arrest and imprisonment of "those who oppose and plan to destroy the British Empire," and banning the Irish from the government and "essential services." Within a few months, the BIP had reshaped the United Kingdom into a National Socialist state, and began the process of rebuilding the British Army.
The Confederacy also under went a major change. After the ban on allowing the Liberty Party to run candidates in political elections ended in 1928, Sam Rayburn, who was released from prison after ten months in 1925, set to work to rebuild the Liberty Party. By the 1930 election, the Liberty party had regained its momentum, with Rayburn flying across the nation to deliver speeches blaming the bureaucracy and the "II's, III's and IV's" in Government, and the Negro's for the loss in the previous war. However, the 1930 Presidential election was lost to Joseph W. Byrns, and lost dozens of seats in the CS Congress. The Great Depression, however, saved the Liberty Party, and in 1935, Rayburn defeated his opponent, Cary A. Hardee, and took up residence in Charleston. Rayburn immediately set to work to industrialize and strengthen the Confederacy, making sure the blacks were kept down and his opponents were kicked out of office, arrested and sent to camps in Texas. Two years later, the Pacific Republic also elected a National Socialist President, Earl Warren, who set to imitate Rayburn in his larger neighbor: expanding industry, arresting opponents and rebuilding the republic.
Democracy in Crisis
The few nations that still held onto democracy as the left and the right rose to power through out the world were in desperate straits. The United States, under Nationalist President Herbert Hoover, was caught in the whirlwind of a massive economic recession that threw millions out of work, as well as unrest in the Occupied Confederate states of Kentucky and Northern Virginia, and from rebellious British settlers in the Oregon Territory, neither of which Hoover was able to handle effectively. Hoover was defeated in the 1933 election by Socialist candidate, Norman Thomas, who actively supported the Democratic Socialism in opposition to National Socialism, though using some of the more acceptable ideas, such as make work projects and government regulation that the National Socialist's called for in his "American Restoration" programs, designed mostly by his Secretary of the Treasury, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.Russia, one of the last remaining constitutional monarchy's left in Europe after the Second Global War, was nearly flat lined by the Great Depression. On top of this, the resurrection of the Communist revolt in 1932 (the Second Bolshevik Revolt), reluctantly lead by Mikhail Kalinin, almost plunged the nation into another civil war. However, the Minister of State Nikita Khrushchev, one of the youngest leaders of the Russian Empire, was able to arrange a cease fire, and a power sharing agreement that prevented the outbreak of yet another "conflict that will tear us apart," as he said. The communists were forced to disarm, but at the same time Kalinin was allowed into the Czar's government as Minister of Labor, and along with the aging Prime Minister Leon Trotsky and Khrushchev, managed to reform the nation in its darkest hour; by 1937 unemployment was down to 15% from a high of over 35% in 1934, massive work projects, including an expansion of the Trans-Russia Railway and new hydroelectric dams and highways, managed to restore prosperity to the Empire. The death of Trotsky in 1938 of a heart attack, followed weeks later by the death of the heir of the throne, the hemophiliac Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, after a fall from a horse, brought mourning to the people, and cast in doubt the possibility of the survival of the Romanov Dynasty after Czar Nicholas II, named. A coup against the government by radical Communists that did not support Kalinin's attempt to prevent the civil war was brutally crushed, and the "Red Hunt" for communists resulted in thousands being arrested and tried, including many high ranking military officers and members of the government on less than ironclad evidence, though the trials were considered fair otherwise.
The Second Sino-Japanese War
While the rest of the world was struggling with the Great Depression, the Empire of Japan looked further into expanding its empire, deeper into China. The weak and corrupt Chinese Monarchy that barely survived the Second Global War had collapsed in 1929, and now China was now in the throes a three sided civil war, between Mao Zedong's Chinese Communists; the Christan Lou Tseng-Tsiang's Greater China Movement who advocated for closer ties to the west and a National Socialist agenda; and Yan Huiqing, leader of the Free China Movement, called the Yellow Dragon's, which fought to rebuild the Chinese Empire, with no foreign interference. The three sides struggled against each other, but with little support from Europe and America, the war continued to drag on, killing thousands.On April 4, 1934, the Japanese Navy sailed to Shanghai harbor, and demanded the Yellow Dragon garrison, which Japan accused of killing Japanese businessmen after they took over the city a few months previously, to surrender, which was promptly refused. The rejection was answered by a massive bombardment, followed by a naval landing of elite Japanese Marines. The 4/4/34 Incident resulted in the death of over 19,000 civilians from the bombardment, with thousands more having been killed by the occupying force. With the simultaneous Invasion of Manchuria, the Second Sino-Japanese War had begun.
Very quickly the Japanese had occupied much of Coastal and Northern China, able to gain a large amount of land from the divided and squabbling Chinese. However, in October of 1934, the three sides of the Civil War agreed to lay down their arms and unite against Japan, with Mao's Communists take them on in the North, Tsiang and his forces in the South and Huiqing in the Central region. With the civil war placed on hold, the Chinese were able to hold back the Japanese from capturing Beijing, despite advance's elsewhere.
Attempts for Peace
With the shocking images of the Second Sino-Japanese War flooding through the world, due to efforts by the Chinese to show the atrocities committed by the Japanese in their invasion, many leaders from around the world tried to further ensure that the horrors of war would be forever extinguished. However, their was little interest in these agreements, many of which had been proposed as early as 1916, after the last war, especially from the dictatorships on all sides. The calls for limiting of weapon's, especially naval and aeronautics, fell on deaf ears, as generals and admirals protested against these attempts to reduce the army. Their was a re-birth of this movement in the 1930's as the Depression swept through the world, but no concrete steps were taken, due to opposition of France and Japan.
Nations desperate to try to restore their economies instead turned inward, and took little interest in affairs abroad, especially in Asia. However, The National Socialist Nations did send some aid to China, though the difficulty in shipping it, and Japanese protest hampered shipment. As Japanese successes continued into 1935 and 1936, the only routes left to supply the Japanese was through British India and Russia, the later of which closed its borders and refused to allow any contact with China (and the refugee problem, which would have easily swamped the struggling economy).
Canada in FlamesAs the Great Depression roared around the world, one of the hardest hit countries was Canada. The Dominion had been defeated in the Second Global War by Assiniboia, Alyeska and the United States, resulting in Assiniboia re-taking the land that Canada had took from them in the aftermath of the Third American War, while the United States took over part of New Brunswick, adding it to Maine. Canada was in the throes of revolution, which only the strong hand of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King managed to prevent the collapse of the nation. The almost dictatorial rule of Mackenzie King managed to bring the nation some semblance of normalcy after the war, and managed to cap the seething tensions between English and French speaking Canadians. However, many English speaking Canadians resented the fact that King's government seemed to be pandering to the French Canadians, and several organizations were founded (silently, so as to not bring the wrath of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which besides being the national police force had the power, given by King, to arrest anyone they may suspect is disloyal to the Dominion) to plot his downfall.
During a speech in Toronto on July 1, 1937 (Canada Day), Mackenzie King was gunned down and killed by an extreme National Socialist English Canadian group, which called themselves the Canadian Liberators, and proclaimed that King was selling out to the Quebecois, and that English Canadians should rise up and take control of the nation for themselves. English Canadians flocked to their banner, while all the different smaller groups united to forge the Nationalist Front, and began to initiate terrorist actions on the Quebecois, supported by the Confederacy and Britain. The French, who had rose to great heights within government, including the post Prime Minister, currently held by Ernest Lapointe. Lapointe actively tried to end the violence, but the English Canadians refused to negotiate with a French speaking leader.The crisis came to ahead when General William Aberhart, one of the highest ranking generals in the Canadian Army, and a decorated hero of the Second Global War, used the forces under his command to take over Ottawa on November 18, forcing Prime Minister Lapointe and other Quebec members of the Government to flee to Montreal. Aberhart declared himself the new Prime Minister, as Lapointe was "unfit for service", and his coup was overwhelmingly supported by Ontario and Nova Scotia. Lapointe declared that the coup was illegal, and that he was still PM, and he formed a new government, called the Canadian Provisional Dominion on November 24, and called upon "loyal, true blooded Canadians" to "fight for the cause of freedom and liberty over tyranny and oppression that the Aberhart regime say they will put in place." Aberhart then proclaimed that Quebec was in a state of rebellion against Canada, and sent the army to try to put it down, but all French Canadian units, composing nearly 45% of the army, refused, and instead confronted the English Canadian's, and at the Battle of Sherbrooke, on the same battlefield as the British victory in the First American War, held them up, and forced them to retreat. Though neither side wished to go to war, their actions resulted in the outbreak of the Canadian Civil War.
With the civil war breaking out in Canada, the National Socialist nations of the world were quick to send aid to the Nationalists, in the form of guns, tanks and airplanes, all of which had, as of yet, been mostly untested in warfare. Some of the first weapons to arrive included new British airplanes, including the Spitfire fighter and Hurricane bomber, which, along with the German Stuka dive bombers, were used in the mass terror raid on the Quebec town of Shanigwan, killing hundreds, and sparking fear as to what the modern air force could do.
France, with a kinship to Quebec (plus both being along similar ideological lines), sent large amounts of weapons and "advisors" to Quebec, totaling over 55,000 by 1939. As well as the French "volunteers", other nations that did not wish to get directly involved, looked the other way when locals who wished to fight national socialism left to fight for the Quebecois, in the so called "International Brigades". The largest number of "internationals" who left to fight in Quebec were from Assiniboia, who supported the French Canadians due to their vocal support of the Metis and Natives who mostly populated Assiniboia. The "Louis Riel" Brigade showed extreme bravery in combat, and where considered the best soldiers in the Quebecois side, to the point that few Nationalists would dare confront them.
With the civil war's raging in Canada and China, the National Socialist states, showing off their military weapon's in the fight successfully, they believed that they could easily "encourage" the democracies to return land that they assumed that belonged to them.The first such demand was from the Confederacy, under President Sam Rayburn, in 1937. Having already won the right to rebuild the CS Army in 1936, Rayburn used the pretense of American violence against Confederate patriots in Kentucky and Occupied Virginia (which had been made the American state of North Virginia to demand that the "unlawfully occupied" former Confederate territory be returned to the Stars and Bars. American President Norman Thomas originally resisted the demands, and tried to placate the rebellious states with the relaxing of military government (which had been in place since the end of the Second Global War). However, by giving an inch, the Confederate's (mostly Liberty Party supporters) took a mile, and continued to demand to be reunited with the South, holding rally's, strikes and marches, nearly shutting down the state. Violence against those that opposed their point of view reached an all time high, though only three were killed.
Finally, President Norman, under pressure from the Nationalist Congress, but against the advice of his advisers, especially Franklin Roosevelt, agreed to a referendum to be held in Kentucky and North Virginia. The results, if in the Confederate favor, would return the states to the South, though with the condition that the land remain de-militarized for 25 years. And the vote, held on January 17, 1938, was an overwhelming victory for the Confederacy, with the South winning over 85% of the vote in Kentucky, and a 65% in West Virginia. The results were meet with celebrations by the white majority and riots by the Black minority, who, though allowed to vote (by American demand), where in fact bullied and tormented to not cast ballots, and only a few braved the hostility and beatings to do so. With the turnover date set for March 1, 1938, over 25,000 African Americans fled north, to escape the clutches of the Liberty Party.
"Chamberlain's Plan"In Europe, tensions over the redistribution of borders after the Second Global War lead to terrorist activities, especially in Poland, and French occupied Flanders and Wallonia, as well as in Ireland, lead by the British and Northern Irish Minority. After the bloody events of "The Night of Fire" (6 March, 1939) in Flanders, leading to the death of the French Governor and the burning of Antwerp's city center, the British Foreign Minister, Neville Chamberlain, announced the British government intentions to try to resolve the crisis, and hopefully bring peace to the continent, as both National Socialist government's threatened war to achieve their goals.
However, Prime Minister John Beckett and German Führer Ernest Röhm secretly worked together to try to ensure a position of strength, besides reclaiming land they formerly held. Germany would support British efforts to reclaim Northern Ireland, and in turn would support Germany's quest to reclaim the German speaking area's of Poland. Chamberlain was merely the front man, and the conference held in Florence, Italy, in April, soon proved this. The Foreign Minister's of France, Russia, Britain, Germany and Italy gathered together, and after much haggling, the Florence Compromise was finalized, which, with no input from Ireland and Poland, divided their territories and delivered them to Britain and Germany, and Italy received Sardinia, citing the oppression of the Italian majority by the French minority.Chamberlain returned to London, the agreement in hand, and proclaimed "Peace in our time," much to the relief of the British people. However, in September, after provocation and riots by the National Socialists in Austria, the German, Italian and Hungarian armies marched in and annexed the land they claimed, which destroyed the Florence Compromise, which stipulated that no further territorial expansion would be sought by either Germany, Italy or Britain. "Chamberlain's Plan", as it was later called, worked well enough to lull France into a false sense of security long enough to enact this plan, which gave both nations valuable time to continue to build their armed forces to prepare for the next stage of their combined plan.
Outbreak of War
The first spark of the war, however, did not come in Europe, but South America. The National Socialist regime that gave birth to the movement, in Argentina, moved to capture the land she believed she deserved, starting with Uruguay. The ultimatum to surrender to Argentina, issued on February 15, 1940, expired 48 hours later with no response, and the Argentinean army quickly rolled over the border, and captured Montevideo within three days. A demand by Brazil to withdraw fell upon deaf ears in Buenos Aires, and the Brazilian Empire declared war, and sent its inadequately prepared army to confront the highly trained and motorized Argentinean ataque rápido, or as later known by its German title, blitzkrieg. Soon Chile and Colombia declared war on Argentina, while Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia joined its National Socialist counterpart. The Third Global War had begun in South America. The conflict in Europe and North America would start within the next two years.