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The United States of America is one of the three major Anglophone countries in North America, along with Canada and the Confederate States of America. The United States is comprised of thirty-two states and a federal district as well as two non-state Commonwealths, and is one of the world's largest economies, along with Germany, Great Britain and Japan.
The United States won its independence from Great Britain after the Revolutionary War (1776-1783), and quickly emerged in the 19th century as an industrial and economic power. The United States waged war with Mexico in the 1840s and won much of its current West. Shortly thereafter, sectional tensions between the industrial North and agrarian, slaveowning South led to the War of Southern Independence, which resulted in the formation of the Confederate States of America in 1863. Following the war, the USA agreed to allow a referendum on secession in several states and territories as per the Treaty of Baltimore, and Kentucky, the Indian Territory and the New Mexico Territory all seceded.
Following the War of Southern Independence, the United States abolished slavery and rapidly became the largest industrial power in the Western Hemisphere. The USA entered the First World War as a Central Power along with Germany and Great Britain, defeating the Confederacy and Mexico, the second time waging war against both nations. The United States suffered from the Great Depression after the German banking crash in 1928, but emerged much quicker than other industrial powers. While initially uncommitted in the Second World War, it became involved following the Russian surprise attack against Alaska in December of 1942 and it entered the war, helping defeat Russia and China. The United States recovered from the war relatively unscathed and became part of the "Trans-Atlantic Alliance" with Germany and Sweden, and participated in the Korean War against South Korea and Communist Japan.
From the watershed 1944 elections until the late 1970s, the United States was dominated by the left-of-center Socialist Party, which formed the backbone of the "Cold War Consensus," with only an eight-year interruption in its control of the White House from 1945-1981, and enjoying strong majorities in the House and Senate as well. Cracks emerged in this dominance in 1974, however, when the conservative Democrats retook both Houses of Congress, and was fully fledged with the victory of center-right George Bush in the 1980 Presidential election. The Bush and Dole administrations oversaw a neoliberal economic policy and a boom in the American economy, although a sharp recession in the 1990s handed back control of the White House to the Socialists under "New Socialist" Mario Cuomo in 1993.