Prologue: The Dissolution

Taken from “Ann Nation's American History Primer Section 4, Chapter 1: The Dissolution (21XX – 21XX) Located at /archive/~ann/docs/am-hist.mmd

The Dissolution refers to the period between 21XX and 21XX when the former United States of America was divided into small, independent, (and ultimately pointless) nation-states. Much like the fall of the Roman empire millennia earlier, the Dissolution was preceded by an overall weakening of the government’s power, and was followed by the almost complete destruction of civilization, which is where we find ourselves today. Aren’t we lucky? We get to see Dark Ages 2: The Darkening.

But we’re going to try to make it slightly less terrible this time around, which is the point of this book. Maybe if we can learn from history we won’t be doomed to repeat it. To that end, here’s a brief summary of what happened in the days of the Dissolution. Don’t worry, you’ll get mind-numbing amounts of detail on the subject in the coming chapters.

Phases of the Dissolution

The Dissolution started with the “election” of President Stedman IV. The Stedman dynasty had been falling in popularity after it became obvious that they had no intention of abandoning the presidency and returning to a true democracy. This is given as the official cause of the Second Civil War. The actual cause is best left as the subject of your term papers, so come up with some good ones this year, okay? Let’s take a look at the revolutions and successions that followed.

The Second Civil War (21XX)

The Second Civil War started with an attack of the New Southern Army against the “Northerners” in Washington D.C. The New Southern Army, indeed the “New South” entire, was really more of a terrorist group than an actual political movement. Lacking the support of the general population of the states they claimed to represent (Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi), the Southern Army was disorganized at best and turned their weapons on one another at worst. The United States Army (usually called “The Fed” during this era) was able to put the “revolution” down fairly quickly, with active warfare only lasting fourteen months. The cost, however, was more than they expected, due to intense, some may say excessive, media coverage. Overall the American people were sickened and angered by the sight of armed soldiers turning their weapons on Americans. Which created the perfect opening for Texicali.

The Texicali Revolution (21XX)

Almost exactly one year after the Second Civil War, Texas and California declared, with somewhat spurious logic, that since they were once independent countries they had the right to become so again. And they brought New Mexico along for the ride because geography. Had this happened before the 2CW they would have been put down quickly. But two factors led to Texicali’s success.

First, as mentioned previously, America was heartsick at the sight of soldiers killing civilians, and Texicali never dressed their soldiers in uniforms, specifically to capitalize on this fact. Any military action looked like a well-armed massacre, no matter how even the forces actually were. Additionally, aftermath from the 2CW forced the Fed troops to be able to provide “undeniable proof” before firing on someone who looked like a civilian.

Second, someone was arming Texicali. Theories include a South American drug cartel who was offering weapons in exchange for easier access to bring illicit substances north, or perhaps an Asian consortium who wanted to get a friendly foothold on the North American continent.

Whatever the case, Texicali was too well armed and too well liked to be taken out, and after two years of ugly press and ugly warfare the Fed sat down in Houston and signed the Treaty of Houston, giving the former republics of Texas and California their freedom. And also New Mexico, because geography.

The Bonneville Succession (21XX)

This occurred a few months after Texicali was officially recognized as an independent nation. The former states of Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and about sixty percent of Nevada declared that they, too, wanted to be a new country, but they didn’t want to fight about it. Instead the nascent Republic of Bonneville offered to assume 60% of the United State’s federal debts. A war-weary and cash-strapped United States accepted the offer and somehow the three former states started actually making significant payments, and even managed to stay in the black.

A lot of speculation went around concerning how Bonneville had managed to escape a war and how they paid off their assumed debts so well. The answer (again perfectly visible in hindsight) was simply that Bonneville had attracted a significant tech sector and the tech sector was hot right then.

Hawaii (21XX)

Hawaii left the union so quietly and subtly that nobody got around to creating a name for the event. The announcement that they had been granted their freedom was made during a State of the Union address. The perfect time, because nobody watched those. A year later Hawaii reached an accord granting them admission into the Kingdom of Tonga, a move that surprised everyone but concerned no one.

The Pacifica Rebellion (21XX)

Had things been only slightly other than they were, Pacifica would have claimed their freedom as easily as Bonneville. A “nation” that started as the Great State of Alaska, they claimed that they were they had a right to the entire Pacific Coast of North America north of Texicali, a comment that seemed to surprise but not alarm the state governments of Washington and Oregon. Washington fell almost immediately and even supported their new government. Oregon went full pacifist and never officially claimed to belong to either the Fed or Pacifica.

The Fed was tired and apparently willing to deal with deserters. Strategically, the new nation was well situated: Bonneville was friendly with the Fed, but absolutely refused to allow any military passage through their territory. Texicali recognized their next door neighbor almost immediately, thus refusing the Fed armies access via the south. Riots and lawlessness in Mexicali had prompted several venerable Silicon Valley companies to move their headquarters to Portland and Seattle, meaning the region was flush with cash and technology. In essence, they had every advantage every other succession had enjoyed, but they still failed in their bid for freedom. Why?

The Children's Army

Technically the Nation of Pacifica had two military forces, the Pacifica Defense Force, PDF, which was made of regular soldiers and was stationed in and around Alaska, to keep people from sneaking in and blowing up important stuff.

Then there was the Pacifica Expeditionary Force, or PEF. Which was more (in)famously known as the Children's Army.

Never the most populated of places, the Pacifican government created a secret cloning laboratory somewhere in Alaska, and when the first military actions started the world got a view of rank after rank of teenage clones marching against the Fed troops. No one is quite sure why Pacifica didn’t wait a little longer, until their troops didn’t look like innocent children being mowed down like grass. Perhaps they felt that having young soldiers would make people sympathetic to their cause. If that was their intent they failed. A horrified world turned on Pacifica en masse. Texicali and Canada opened their borders, allowing Fed troops to swarm Pacifica with alarming ferocity. The press demonized the PEF for exploiting children while at the same time calling their clone troops an abomination that needed to be removed from the earth.

In fact, the clones were destroyed, in an “accidental” fire at the ceremony where Pacifica surrendered to the Fed. The entire Children's Army, at this point just a few hundred clones, was gathered in a warehouse-turned-bunker. That warehouse burned down in the middle of the night, and there was an official (and therefore wrong) announcement that there were no survivors.

Thus The Pacifica Rebellion was crushed, and that quickly. The Fed spun the war as an action to free Washington and Oregon from the grasp of the tyrannical “Pacifican” government, which was centered in Anchorage. Alaska was renamed Pacifica and declared a defeated nation state. The nation of Pacifica was “allowed” to become a protectorate instead of returning to its former statehood, a clearly punitive action. The protectorate was subject to intense taxes and anyone with a Pacifica ID paid an extra “reparation tax” when they traveled outside of the protectorate.

As usual, these punitive measures led to discontent and, if things had gone differently, would have led to a second Pacifica Rebellion. What we want to cover right now is what happened between the first and putative second Pacifica Rebellions, and why the second rebellion never happened. It all started with a veteran of the Child Army named Cylee…