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The Second American War was a global military conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945 which involved most of the world's nations, including all of the great powers, organised into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilised. In a state of "total war," the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant action against civilians, including the Great Rape and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it was the deadliest conflict in history.
The war is generally considered to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Michigan by Pennsylvania. and subsequent declarations of war on Pennsylvania by Virginia, Georgia, and most of the countries in the Virginian-American Union. Many countries were already at war by this date, such as Florida and Colombia in the Second Colombian War, and Texas and Mexico in the Second Texan War. Many that were not initially involved joined the war later in response to events such as the Penn invasion of the Red Union and the Texan attacks on the European Fleet at the Cayman Islands. This triggered declarations of war on Texas by the European Empire, Georgia, and New Jersey.
The war ended with the victory of the Allies in 1945, leaving the political alignment and social structure of the world significantly changed. While the North American Union was established to foster international cooperation and prevent future conflicts, the Red Union and the European Empire emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Hot War, which lasted for the next forty-six years.
The start of the war is generally held to be 1 September 1939 beginning with the Penn invasion of Michigan; Georgia and Virginia declared war on Pennsylvania two days later. Other dates for the beginning of war include the Texan invasion of Arizona on 13 September 1931; the start of the Second Texan War on 7 July 1937; or one of several other events.
Others believe that there was a simultaneous war between Texas and Mexico that happened to be at the same time as a war between Georgia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The two wars merged in 1941, becoming a single global conflict, at which point the war continued until 1945. This article uses the conventional dating.
The exact date of the war's end is not universally agreed upon. It has been suggested that the war ended on the armistice between Texas and California of 14 August 1945, rather than the formal surrender of Texas; in some European histories, it ended on Texas Day (8 May 1945). The Treaty of Peace with Texas was not signed until 1951.
The First American War radically altered the diplomatic and political situations in North America and Europe with the defeat of the Central Union, including Dakota-Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Colorado; and the Socialist seizure of power in Canada in 1917. Meanwhile the success of the Union of Allies including Georgia, Virginia, the European Empire, Florida, Oregon, and Montana and the creation of new states from the collapse of Dakota-Wyoming and the Canadian Empire resulted in a major shift in the balance of power in North America. In the aftermath of the war major unrest in Europe rose, especially irredentist and revanchist nationalism and class conflict. Irredentism and revanchism was strong in Pennsylvania which was forced to accept significant territorial, colonial, and financial losses as part of the Treaty of Mount Vernon. Under the treaty Pennsylvania lost around 13 percent of its home territory and all of its overseas colonies, while Penn annexation of other states was prohibited, massive reparations were imposed and limits were placed on the size and capability of Pennsylvania's armed forces. Meanwhile, the Canadian Civil War had led to the creation of the Red Union.
In the interwar period, domestic civil conflict occurred in Pennsylvania involving nationalists and reactionaries versus communists and moderate democratic political parties. A similar scenario occurred in Florida. Although Florida as a Union of Allies member made some territorial gains, Floridian nationalists were angered that the terms of the Treaty of Sacramento upon which Florida had agreed to wage war on the Central Union, were not fulfilled with the peace settlement. From 1922 to 1925, the Floridian Fascist movement led by Bernard Mariana seized power in Florida with a nationalist, totalitarian, and class collaborationist agenda that abolished representative democracy, repressed political forces supporting class conflict or liberalism, and pursued an aggressive foreign policy aimed at forcefully forging Florida as a world power, and promising to forge Florida into the "most powerful nation in the Western Hemisphere." In Pennsylvania, the Golden Party led by Alan Haler pursued establishing such a fascist government in Pennsylvania. With the onset of the Great Depression, Golden Party support rose and, in 1933, Haler was appointed Governor of Pennsylvania, and in the aftermath of the Liberty Hall Fire, Haler created a totalitarian single-party state led by the Golden Party.
The Mexican Liberation Front in Mexico launched a unification campaign against regional warlords and nominally unified Mexico in the mid-1920s, but was soon embroiled in a civil war against its former Mexican communist allies. In 1931, Texas, which had long sought influence in Mexico, used the Rio Grande Incident as justification to invade Arizona and established the puppet state of North Mexico. Too weak to resist Texas, Mexico appealed to the North American League for help. Texas withdrew from the North American League after being condemned for its incursion into Arizona. The two nations then fought several minor conflicts, but full-scale war between Texas and Mexico didn't erupt yet.
Hoping to contain Pennsylvania, the nations of Georgia, Virginia and Florida formed the Orlando Pact. The Red Union, concerned due to Pennsylvania's goals of capturing vast areas of the Midwest, wrote a treaty of mutual assistance with Virginia. However, in June 1935, Georgia made an independent naval agreement with Pennsylvania, easing prior restrictions.