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This article (Land of the Free), is unfinished in many areas so that anyone can come in and fill the missing information!
Due to the nature of this page, it requires many smaller sections done separately, instead of one arcing vision. Themes, writing styles, and different viewpoints can all be had here. Let your imagination run wild!
Life is a Highway
The Joseph R. McCarthy National System of Interstate and Defence Highways, or more simply the Interstate, is the finest highway system in the world, though this may be because its competitor, the German Autobahn, is in ruins after being destroyed by the Soviets early in World War III. The Interstate was started by its namesake during World War II to better transport troops and equipment between coasts (and in case the Soviets invaded, to allow armies to move quickly.) Despite its defensive intentions, the highway system was also a boon to civilians, who could now travel by car across the whole country. Americans love of the automobile increased exponentially.
While hybrids popular in Europe are occasionally used, big loud gas guzzlers are the way to go in America. The United States is rich in oil, especially in Texas, and since it was one of the primary sources of oil for the Allied Nations, it never had problems with wolf packs. Since gas engines are cheaper to build and operate, Americans see no need to switch, though they do conform to Allied environmental standards. After all, there's no point in spoiling the beautiful landscapes one drives in.
Years of war have affected even the culture of a nation untouched by the ravages of war. While most countries ship their outdated military hardware to the Boneyard, the United States government had a craftier idea. Engineers removed the weapons, equipment, electronics, and most of the armour and auctioned hundreds of APCs, light tanks, and other war machines to private dealers and citizens. The money was sent back to the Allied Nations to use for defence. The vehicles, in the meantime, were refurbished for civilian use, and now serve as taxis, buses, campers, even as cars to pick up children from school. Though this may have once been a shocking sight, the rest of the world has tanks in the streets for entirely different reasons, so it is seen as fairly normal.
As on the ground, it is in the air, and America is the world leader in Air Travel. Large jet planes quickly and comfortably ferry passengers around North America and the free world. Europe itself has no time to develop its own air industries, since production is needed for war and the skies are terribly unfriendly. Most nations are content to license out to American corporations like Pan Am and TWA. The Soviet Union is particularly embarrassed by this situation. With a proud fleet of passenger zeppelins, it looked to be the leader of air transportation, but now the Capitalists are flying circles with sleek, high tech planes, forcing the Communist block to make its own and even convert old bombers to the task
Sweat of a Man's Brow
The United States is the last great bastion of free Capitalism (ignoring the Syndicate block). Though wartime demands has made many vital industries more or less controlled by the government for sake of national security, other corporations both great and small thrive on the bountiful natural resources and strong work ethic of the land, making it an industrial power second only to the Soviet Union. However, unlike in Europe (where corporations are often protected and grow into megacorporations) and Japan (where Zaibatsus are de facto branches of the government), private interests are regulated closely by the government. Paradoxically, the United States, home of many corporations, is one of the least corporate nations in the free world.
With the rest of the world being caught between the extremes of Communism and Objectivism, there is a great social pressure to change the culture of America to try and go to one of these extremes. Despite this, Americans, for this reason, are the most resistant to the invasive if well meaning intentions of Allied social engineers or Syndicate bankers. America sought to go about building a great society its own way, taking up populist economics that would ensure nobody was too poor nor that anyone was too rich, breaking down long standing divisions of race, religion, gender, and sexuality, while making sure that Corporations were never able to balloon into monopolistic sizes with initiatives meant to help protect small and medium businesses from the encroachment of colossal conglomerates while making absolutely certain that foreign companies learned to respect American workers. America is not above calling out Europe for simultaneously claiming to adhere to Social Democracy while turning a blind eye to a number of states where all forms of welfare, security, and democratic control over the government have been eroded by allowing protected megacorporations to wither the state into a skeleton.
With all the competition, the Syndicate has one of the weakest grasps on any nation not under the protection of the Soviet Union. There are only two Sprawls in the nation despite the wealth, and one has to get by on honest tourism. However, the free market works for other countries too. European imports are an accepted; if one wants a classier, more dignified car, one can drive it, if he doesn't mind being called a sissy. Imports from Japan are another matter, since Japanese products are often superior to American ones. This is at odds with the anti-Japanese bias in the nation, and "Made in Japan" is pretty much a death sentence for a product. Instead, many Japanese corporations import almost completed products into their branches in Los Angeles, where they do the last step, often little more than adding a decal stating the product was made in the USA. Because of this, a few corporations have been driven out of business, adding fuel to the fire of anti-Japanese prejudice with the rallying cry "They took our jobs!"
Freedom of, and from, Religion
The concept of secular society is that a man's government and religion shall not intermix, and that he will be free to worship without feeling oppressed or stifled by another more powerful religious denomination. In America, Catholic and Jews eat at the same delis, as Muslim imams and Buddhist monks walk the same streets. Though relations between these differing faiths have not always been easy, they have, for the most part, been peaceable.
The Allies, however, seem to have no need of religion. To the Allies, what matters is the physical, rather than the spiritual, and to many Americans their attempts to forcefully secularize America is an almost suffocating influence. Many smaller denominations, like Native American tribes and smaller Protestant churches, feel that the Allies patronize their beliefs, seeing them as ignorant fools instead of human beings. Larger denominations are wary of Allied influences in a person's private life as well. as Syndicate influences on Allied society have engendered a certain contempt for religion.
In America, however, a man can worship as long as he does not infringe on the rights of another. Catholics are free to keep from eating meat on Friday, and Jews still reinforce their covenant with God every time a boy is born. One religion, however, is almost universally frowned upon by the American public. Shinto, the religion of Japan, is viewed with distrust and anger, though no institutional polices have been put in place to restrict its worship. Still, many Japanese communities on the West Coast have had to become more insular in their beliefs in the face of such rabid anti-Japanese sentiment.
There is also the very real threat of religious extremism in America's underbelly. Though most contemprary faiths abhore violence towards others, some fringe groups have no such qualms. Cults and small groups of extremists crop up advocating violence, death of non-believers, even the destruction of society as a whole. Though law enforcement is often quick to crack down on these groups, the protection of the First Amendment is something few want to destroy.
Out of Many, One
What many people don't know is that America is actually a strong coalition of many nations, held within one geographic border. Each state has its own constitution, three distinct branches of government, and even its own military in the form of its National Guard. From the streets of Philadelphia to the Colorado River, each state has its own methods of governance, its own means of providing for itself, and it's own distinct taxes to seperate its own treasury from that money sent to the Federal government. For example, education is seen as a matter best left to the states, with each state's schools under the wing of the state's decisions. What qualifies a person for teaching in California might not qualify them to teach in Texas, and if you get a teacher from Pennsylvania, you're probably going to hire them over a teacher from North Dakota.
What this also means is that each state develops it's own cultures withing the greater whole of the nation. Texans firmly believe in a man's right to his own independence, while the Native American tribes living in Oklahoma still follow the tribal rites of their ancestors, as Maine fishermen continue to use the lessons they were taught as young boys to provide for their own livelihoods. From Pennsylvania's Amish communities to California's "hippie" communes, the great tapestry of America is a mismatched amalgamation of lives come together to create a better life for their own.
So when the Allies came in and started instituting their sweeping social and civil reforms, thousands were outraged, many the government leaders of a good many states. The Allies had completely bypassed the barriers between the state and national government, forcing on many state governments programs that their citizens either did not believe in, did not want, or had no idea about until they were instituted. Standardized education across the country, new units of measurements in consumer goods, and a complete reworking of industrial environmental standards that would force hundreds of smaller companies to close. No distinction was made between what was a state and what was a federal power, and the enforcement by the Peacekeeper divisions sent to ensure "order" made it hard for many state governments to raise a counter-argument.
Many see these actions as a forced homogenization, the shedding of one's personal identity to become a model Allied citizen, one who would follow the Allied dictates without question or complaint. With these actions, many that would have stayed on the sidelines of the Confederate-Allied conflict started joining as Militia members against Allied rule.
Thine Alabaster Cities Gleam
The city of Chicago was easily captured by the rebels after the Allies began retreating to Canada, and each of the United States' coasts. One of the main investments the Allies made in this city was its subway system, which was used extensively by the limited number of Peacekeepers for transport across the city when the rebels attacked. When the Confederacy took control of the city, they expanded Chicago's underground system tenfold, even with some stores and apartments below the ground.
This description is more fitting than the Chicago cells realize, since they're often the most blatantly criminal of the Confederacy's movements. Drive-by shootings, intimidation, protection rackets, even outright murder, nothing is off the table for the "Chicago Grays". Mainly operating out of the South Side and in the Cabrini-Green housing projects, the Grays operate like a modern day mafia. While most "average" citizens of the city are considered unimportant, the affluent residents in the North and East neighborhoods are considered fair game. Their lives are little affected by Allied actions in America, while the rest of Chicago sees only a massive force ready to reenact the '68 "Police Riot" on a greater scale.
Due to Chicago's place as a financial center in the Midwest, the Grays consider the best targets the banks and corporate headquarters that use Chicago as a base. Bank robbery is becoming increasingly common, along with gun running and racketeering. Small businesses are "helpfully encouraged" to remove Allied flags and products from their stores, and anyone who is seen openly chatting with a PK or Reservist is in for a rough questioning after. This has created a culture of silence against the Allies in Chicago, with many placing the blame on the Allies themselves. If they hadn't replaced the president, none of this would've happened after all.
Unknown to the Grays, they're also stepping on the toes of the older, more established criminals in Chicago. No one quite knows why they haven't been wiped off the map yet by the Chicago Outfit, but rumors say the don and his soldiers are waiting for a perfect strike to take out the Grays with a decapitating hit.
Known as the "City of Neighborhoods" to locals and "trouble" to sports fans from the rest of the country, Philadlephia is considered the very cradle of American liberty, where the Founding Fathers drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence that eventually culminated in the seperation from England in the Treaty of Paris. Despite this, Confederate actions in the city are limited. The presence of the Master Chronosphere in the Philadelphia Navy Yard means that Allied presence in the city is almost obscene, and the citizens too afraid to make an action against the Allied forces in the city. Despite this, a small and devoted underground has formed, engaging in running street battles against the Allies, sheltered by their various neighborhoods and families against the Allies, despite the risk that comes with "sheltering terrorists".
Despite what might seem like a shining example of Confederate fellowship, in reality Philly's militia cells fight as much with each other as the enemy. With so many disparate ideaologies and a desperate lack of steady funding, the fighting in Philadelphia is as much categorized by cells stealing from each other or getting into gunfights as they are sabotaging Allied operations. Such a climate might seem like an Allied dream in America, but instead it's only made worse. ACIN agents suffer from the high suspicion already running through the city, and even if a cell is destroyed the members that survive will only be tougher for it. One Peacekeeper has gone on record as saying it's, "The Confederacy if they ever win".
Despite the sentiment, many of the cells will gladly drop what they're doing if it means a chance to kill more of the Allies. A favorite tactic, insane in the eyes of nearly every other force, is to engineer a gunfight between two cells. Once the Allies arrive, the militia turn their guns on the enemy until the fighting is over, then run. This has only resulted in more Allies casualties, since the men responding have to automatically presume that the first priority is to protect civilians. This is often nullified by the fact that most of Philadelphia can easily identify when a fight will break out and take steps to hide, leaving the militia with a safe zone in which to kill more peacekeepers and each other.
Boise, being the centre of the state that was the birthplace of Howard Ackerman, was the centre of the worst anti-Allied riots after (and before) the death of Howard Ackerman. The situation got so bad that the Allied Nations intervened, declaring martial law and installing specialists skilled and experienced in calming populaces into offices of power, who were well briefed on the situation and the customs of the people in the area. The picture of them on makeshift gallows in front of the Idaho Capitol Building was one of the images that cemented the Peacekeepers' deployment to the insurgency in the United States.
Today, Boise literally has no city government. Utilities are kept up by hobbyists and concerned citizens, and services are on a purely volunteer basis. Justice is usually meted out by vigilantism. Though the city is in pure anarchy, a sense of order is there, simply because so many people are combatants. With the percentage of populace under arms rivaling that of pre-war Poland, the average person is likely a Minuteman and has some professional reluctance for violence outside of combat. However, non-violent crimes are rarely punished, as long as it doesn't make too much noise or really hurt someone. Any after effects are usually left in place, meaning that Boise is slowly drowning in wrecked cars and burned buildings.
Boise is about the only place on the continent where the Allied Nations have no presence, not even a social worker. Wearing blue is more or less a death sentence with so many irate, armed (and drunk) people around. Even Guardian Tank columns would fear to venture in the city, and any planes are shot at by a multitude of AA guns. This "freedom" is a source of pride for the people of Boise, and in their eyes cements their claim that they are the true capital of the Confederate Revolutionaries, not those oil men in Dallas. Since most of the city's industry and collective effort is poured into the movement, this claim is not unjustified, and a comparison could be made that what New York City is to the United States, Boise is to the Confederates.
The headquarters of the Federalist Party, Dallas, TX is the central hub around which many of the Confederacy's operations revolve. Home of both the main financial backers and "elites" of the cause, many of Dallas' leading citizens are also part of the Confederacy.
Like much of the American South, Texas was enraged at the Allied actions immediately following the Rushmore incident and what happened to Hoffhassle. After the ARV massacre, tensions reached new heights, with Dallas becoming a focal point for all actions. Power brokers from across America congregated to discuss the Allied actions. Political bosses, corporate robber-barons, rich patriots, and all stripes of influential men came together to discuss the ever increasing Allied stranglehold on their nation. Though not what many hard-working Americans would ever consider patriots, these men still felt some ties to the US, especially since US anti-trust regulation was more comfortable to work in the confines of than the European love of newly emerging megacorporations.
Knowing the newly emergent Confederates could be valuable to keeping America's political and economic independence in place, these men became known as the "Dallas Dealers" for their consistent spending on everything from ammunition to medical supplies, all for a healthy profit for the Confederacy. They confer with Hoffhassle and Carville often, as Kennedy is often out in the Gulf coordinating the fleet or in Galveston to contact the Pacific ships. Hoffhassle mainly speaks with them on what the various elements of the movement need, and Carville will approach them with necessary arms and supplies for the three armies.
Dallas reflects this, as it is home to many fine restaurants and new company headquarters. Businessmen all wear pins showing their support of the cause, and much of the Confederate money is tied into Dallas' banking. Unfortunately, this has also had the effect of distancing the city somewhat from the rest of the Confederacy. While much of the Continental Army, being professionals, understand the need for steady funding and a secured leadership base, the various militias and cells of the Confederacy feel little to no loyalty to these "leaders". There's a lot of conflict with Boise in particular. Dallas still has civil services such as a functioning police and fire department, along with electricity and water services. There is a functioning state and municipal government, and compared to where much of the Confederacy operates, no visible Allied presence. Few of the Confederates in Dallas have actually had to fight, and the fact that they have a steady supply of good food and the necessities of life where other areas are struggling under Allies "protection". This often results in a steady conflict between the militia leadership (if it can even be considered leadership), and the the Dallas Dealers.
Los Angeles, considered by many to be the sickly, filth ridden sore on California, is now considered the Japanese, filth ridden sore on California. Sharing the dubious honour held by Washington DC and Detroit as being American cities held by a foreign power, Los Angeles was occupied by the Rising Sun for much of WWIII, with the Black Tortoise blockading the port and preventing relief from the sea. In the meantime, Los Angeles was built in the image of a Japanese city, and many Japanese immigrated to this new frontier. Gone were the old art deco stylings of the past. The goal of architects was to please the new masters of the city, and this meant sloped roofs and red, thin arches, surrounded by gardens in the Japanese style.
When the city was finally freed and the Black Tortoise steamed back to Japan many people, in Los Angeles and beyond, demanded that the city more or less be demolished and returned to a western architectual style. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and prevented this waste of money and resources, although this didn't stop a wave of vandals from attempting to destroy everything that looked vaguely Oriental. Though most Japanese left with the Black Tortoise, a few stayed, enjoying the temperate climate of California. These Japanese often staff the many branches of Japanese corporations that opened in the wake of increased trade between the Allies and Rising Sun.
Unfortunately, these Japanese immigrants have a rough time of it, because everyone else hates the Japanese with a passion, which unfortunately transfers to racism against all Orientals, even those from other countries who fled the Rising Sun. The LAPD and Allied social workers do their best to deflate any racial tensions, but Los Angeles refuses to conform to this new peace. The thinking goes that Los Angeles was occupied and oppressed, but all Geneva cares about is more money and promoting the superiority of foreign cultures over the local ones. In this tense atmosphere, race riots are common. When a Japanese man was pulled over in Watts, and shot by police for unknown reasons, an anti-Japanese riot was sparked, and lasted for 6 days. 34 people, mostly Japanese, were killed. It only ended when Peacekeepers flew in from the north to assist the beleaguered LAPD, freezing and arresting hundreds with Cryocopters and ARVs.
Roswell was a unsignificant town in the middle of the New Mexico desert. However during the late interbellum, when the whole world knew that war was coming, something happened that shocked the world, Allies and Soviets alike. In July 1947, an unidentified object crashed into the desert and was within hours surrounded by US soldiers. Within days people were fixed in their beliefs that what had crashed had been an alien space craft despite the official explanation that it was only a weather balloon. However no-one was really certain of this 'truth' and when there was a second unidentified crash, this time in Nevada, in 1968 the world screamed for truth. When none was given, 200 soliders of the Continental Army, supported by nearly 300 militamembers attacked and defeated the small garrison at Roswell. However nothing has been heard since and it seems the Confederates are being just as secretive as the Allies who once held the town.
New Orleans is seen as an example of what will happen to all of the US if the Allies are allowed to win. No tradition, no sense of self, no acknowledgement of the past. Cold, unfeeling figures will rule all, charts and graphs the weapons of their new regime.
When the Allies took over, they made an analysis of the levy systems that protect New Orleans from flooding during Hurricane Season, and found that, eventually, said levies would burst in a strong enough storm, drowning most of the city including the historic French Quarter. According to the cost-benefit analysis, leaving the city as it is would only create havoc down the road. Instead, the Allied Corps of Engineers was quickly flown in and given their orders; keep the city from drowning.
Though normally a city that loves to get free money, the Allied Nations weren't as concerned with tourism dollars as the Feds or state government. In a series of charts and graphs that eventually left most of the city council half-asleep, the Allied experts outlined the reality that, no matter how long the levy's stood, eventually New Orleans would eventually flood. Accepting that reality, the council and mayor asked what the solution was. Create a spillway system to compliment the levies? Raise many of the existing structures to ensure survival? Install cryo-defences to freeze oncoming water mass?
The Allies answered bluntly: New Orleans must be destroyed.
The reasoning was cold and scientific; no matter what system was put in place, the city would still be smack in the path of any hurricane that didn't angle south before moving north past Florida. It was instead easier to just move the city north, with modern construction and building techniques, than leave it in the path of every hurricane for the future. Arguments flew heavy and hard. The cost would be insane. Doing it all now would take too much time and money. Many families in the city wouldn't even be able to afford moving into the homes the Allies had in mind. Missing the point completely, one Allied official suggested they instead move elsewhere.
After the massive assuming riot that resulted in driving many of the Allied forces from the city, the Confederates stubbornly dig themselves in, refusing to give to the Allies just so they can destroy their city. Defectors from the US Army Corps of Engineers, however, do admit the Allies have a point. But instead of relying solely on cold, unfeeling logic, they lobby on the fact that it would be better to carry on the spirit of New Orleans to a safer place, instead of letting it die with the physical buildings that nurtured it. The city planners instead agreed to this plan, but until the conflict is over the new project is indefinitely on hiatus.
|Location||District of Columbia|
Washington D.C. isn't so much rebel held as it is a heavily sympathetic city. When the legislature walked out in protest, much of the city recognized what was happening. As Congress walked out, rebel support moved in. As many of the senators and congressmen sped back to their home states, others remained in Washington, trying to gather public support for throwing out the Allied forces controlling Washington. As they tried to rally the population of DC's disenfranchised neighborhoods, many bureaucrats walked out on their own positions, leaving Washinton's federal organizations short-staffed and faltering. Given the highly visible Allied presence across the country, many normal Americans considered the faltering government services to be the fault of the Allies. Despite this, the Allied presence continued to solidify in the nation's capitol. For now, D.C. is under low-intensity marshal law under Allied conditions. Despite this, sympathetic civilians and civil servants continue to inform on the Allied movements for the Confederacy, for the day when the American capitol can be made American again.
Since it is technically the nation's only Federal city, DC was expected to fit easily into the Allied methods of city management and planning. What they got was a jumbled box of neighborhoods that are desperate for representation as all other states get. A common rallying cry in the city is, "Taxation Without Representation", since many in the city are often forced to struggle through their daily lives as Congress and the rest of the government slide by on pensions and the people's taxes. A growing "home rule" movement fights in the city, and has many ties with the Confederates due to the Allied actions resetting their efforts by years.
The bureaucrats that run the city are also in a small battle with the Allies. Though by no means the most efficient in the world, America's Federal servants have found ways to ensure their methods keep the nation from falling into the same state as Boise on a massive scale. From the IRS to the DoD, Allied efforts to "streamline" and "regulate" have sent shockwaves through the halls of power. Already this has resulted in small but powerful acts of rebellion. Congress only controls the purse, the executive must enforce and head these agencies. And none of these agencies like the current executive. The IRS has already ensured that thousands of tax dollars are lost in the shuffle that was supposed to be paying for Allied programs or supporting European corporations. The DoJ is suddenly incredibly shoddy in the prosecution of Confederate sympathizers and agents. Transit's work on the highway system in Allied-controlled America is increasingly "struggling" with potholes and basic maintenance. Only the Department of the Interior is doing it's job, and even then as an affront to Allied ideals. The Allies would see Yellowstone turned into another plot of land to potentially develop, or worse create a lab on. Indian Affairs has been the hardest hit, since Allied efforts have effectively forced the most experienced agents out, leaving both the tribes and these men and women bitter against a now-common foe.
The DoD is in the most difficult position. In the military, you must respect the rank if you can't respect the person. Unfortunately it's hard to respect the rank when the person is widely considered a traitor. Only the military takes it's oath to the Constitution, not the president or any national body. It's why defections from the National Guard are suddenly commonplace. Why certain Reservist forces are suddenly, and rapidly, transferred anywhere but the United States. It won't be effective forever with the Peacekeepers becoming more and more involved, but the DoD heads have little else they can do until the conflict nears an end. For either side.