Federated States of America
“Best damned country in the world right here, yes sir. An’ the rest of the world’s gonna learn that fast!”
– Senator James G. McCloskey of Mississippi, to a consortium of leading businessmen, Washington D.C 1867
The FSA has come a long way since its founders and their ramshackle but fiercely resolute armies forced the British Empire to relinquish its rule over their small collection of colonies on the eastern coast of North America. In its brief life, the country now known as the Federated States of America has witnessed all manner of events that normally take other countries centuries to experience. From a union of colonies it has become an empire; it has been invaded and has waged wars of conquest. It has seen political and moral arguments by the score. Most recently, it has been near-torn apart by a terrible civil war, but rose phoenix-like, to take its place at the table of the world’s great powers. Relatively isolated from the troubles of the wider world by great oceans and continental wilderness, the FSA is only now beginning to play an active role in international affairs. But such is its size, population and sheer vigorous energy that it’s awakening will shake the established pillars of the world. For, as President Adams said when he addressed Congress after the second New Federalist election victory in 1868, there is one simple truth that the other powers will quickly learn – “the FSA is here to stay”.
In terms of sheer size, the FSA is the second largest power in the world, with only the Russian Coalition covering more territory. Wars of expansion and waves of settlement over the last one hundred years have seen the country’s territory expand from its original holdings to stretch from coast to coast of the North American continent, and extend deeply into central and South America as well. The bulk of the FSA’s North American heartlands are divided up into States of the Federacy, each with its own government, judiciary and military forces, which mirror the Federacy’s own structure in miniature. However, there is still a vast region of the north-west up towards the borders with Britannian Canada and Russian Alaska that is still effectively frontier territory and is only now being permanently settled. Further to the south, the old Republic of Texas and its one time enemy, the seven states of the Republic of Mexico, have been subsumed wholly into the Federacy, but beyond that, the smaller former republics, now known as the Associated Latin Territories, are still in the process of fully joining the Federacy’s political system. The FSA currently controls no extra-territorial lands apart from the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, acquired after the defeat of Mexico by the former United States in 1837.
One remarkable aspect of the FSA compared to other major powers is the relative unity of its populace. Since the abolition of slavery in the country in 1825, black citizens have become steadily more integrated into the country’s population, and those of Latin descent are following suit after the acquisition of the bulk of the Spanish-speaking lands of North and Central America, so much so that Spanish is close to gaining recognition as an official language alongside English. Furthermore, the government of the current President is now making meaningful efforts to reach out to the remaining Native American tribes living within the FSA’s borders, making amends for a history of relations that have often descended into hostility. President Adams and the New Federalist government are determined to ensure that the FSA is never again threatened by internal political and social strife. The overall effect is that where many empires encompass many different peoples, societies and creeds, the people of the FSA, whatever their origins, are slowly but surely coming to think of themselves primarily as Americans.
The FSA is a democratic republic, and its head of state is its President, elected every four years by a group of appointed electors from each of the Federacy’s states and territories. The current President, now serving his second term in the office, is the esteemed Nathaniel Adams, formerly a member of the old United States Senate for Mississippi. The business of Federacy government officially lies in the hands of the FSA Congress, which retains its pre-Civil War structure of Senate and House of Representatives. In practice, however, the central government holds far less power now that it did before the Civil War; the individual state governments are fiercely protective of their right to govern their own territories with an independence of spirit that borders on actual autonomy.
It was the issues of government and economics that drove the southern states to take up arms in 1860 against what they saw as the intransigent and high-handed attitudes of the last President of the United States. The initial flashpoint was a dispute over whether state or central government should have control over the extensive oil and uranium reserves of Mississippi and Texas – indeed, early on the conflict was known as the ‘Ore War’. However, the clash rapidly became about much broader and more fundamental issues of governance. After several years of bitter fighting, the rebellious states were victorious, resulting in a considerable scaling-back of central government powers.
Nathaniel Adams was instrumental in that victory. Becoming a key advisor to the wartime leader of the rebels, Jefferson Davis, he succeeded in forging an alliance with the Kingdom of Britannia, which left their enemies surrounded by powerful forces, which eventually overwhelmed them. Becoming President in 1864 at the head of the New Federalist Party, Adams’ main aim was to repair the damage caused by the split between the states, and re-forge the newly reconstituted FSA into a truly united power once more. In this he has largely succeeded, thanks in no small part to his Vice-President, who briefly held the position of President of the United States before it was dissolved – a charismatic and politically astute former senator of Illinois called Abraham Lincoln.
Thanks to its political system, and the importance of states’ rights in all arenas, the FSA military is a complex beast. The FSA’s land-based armed forces are split between Federal regiments, controlled by the central government, and Territorial regiments, controlled by the individual states, generally with a ratio of two to one in favour of Territorial outfits. Regiments may be Infantry, Armoured, Artillery or Cavalry – the last are mostly mechanised infantry forces, although formations of horsed cavalry are still part of the FSA army’s order of battle. Crucially, the FSA’s Land Ships are almost all under the control of the individual states, with only a comparatively small force controlled solely by the Federacy government. However, the FSA’s Air Force and Navy are both truly Federal institutions, as is necessary to ensure an effective strategic role as required by these spheres of operations. The renowned FSA Marine Corps, who provide garrison and assault troops for the FSA’s air- and sea-craft, are also under direct Federal control.
FSA military technology is mostly designed to be an effective mix of the innovative and reliable. Federacy manufacturers, such as Orlington, produce an array of functional, but beautifully precision engineered weapons and operating systems. As a result, Federacy war machines are well equipped with labour-saving devices for weaponry and control systems, allowing them to devote more crew-space to their fighting complements, especially the Marine Corps sharpshooters.
When it comes to offensive power, in all spheres the FSA prefers relatively simple weapons: massed rocket batteries and big guns – lots of them! Federacy war machines bristle with heavy cannons, whose long barrels, superior ammunition and automatic loaders allow them to lay down heavy barrages at extreme range. FSA warships are driven by huge paddle wheels, rather than propellers, allowing them to manoeuvre far more efficiently than their great size would suggest. Reinforced with Sturginium, these massive structures are also very resistant to damage. FSA airships, the core of its aerial forces, are also highly resilient beasts. Filled with inert Helium gas – a byproduct of the nation’s oil industry – they can absorb immense amounts of punishment while dishing out huge quantities of their own.
Backed by their country’s vast industrial potential, the FSA military is ready to take on whatever the world throws at them. President Adams’ eyes have turned to the Pacific, which he fully intends to make the Federacy the dominant force, no matter what opposition the Russian Coalition and the Blazing can muster. The Americans are coming and, as the performers on Broadway would say, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”