Pacific States of America
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The Pacific States of America, commonly referred to as the Pacific States or the PSA is a federal republic consisting of 23 states and 4 interstellar territories spread across the Orion Arm.
The PSA is one of the Orion Arm's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, owing to the large-scale migration from many countries during the Virus Crisis and subsequent Scinfaxi War. Founded in the midst of the conflict, the PSA originated as an emergency government after contact with the United States of America was severed by the advance of the Scinfaxi. After three years of self-governance, disagreements in both nations over reconstruction prevented reunification with the United States. Since then, the Pacific States have remained a sovereign nation while maintaining strong ties with the US. In 1962 a supranational union with the United States was signed, with the intention of providing greater political, economic, and social integration. The Pacific States have remained a strong partner of the United States into the modern era and reunification talks between the two nations occur every few decades, so far without success.
The Pacific States are a highly developed nation with the Orion Arm's 7th largest economy and fourth largest within the Democratic Federation. While it has a well-developed infrastructure funded by an abundance of natural resources, it has along with the United States, begun to suffer from growing income inequality and declining public services.
The Scinfaxi invasion of the United States drove rapidly through the heart of the country. By October of 1944 the lead elements of their advance had reached the Canadian border effectively cutting the entire country in two. The Western Seaboard, including the occupied states of Arizona, New Mexico; the contested territories of California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado; and the still free states of Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington; were cut off from direct contact with the United States government in Washington D.C. on the Eastern Seaboard.
Radio communication between the two unoccupied areas of the United States grew sporadic and unreliable as the result of Scinfaxi interference until almost ceasing entirely. Without directives from Washington and faced with the prospect of civil and military collapse, control of the Pacific States fell to General Douglas MacArthur, who as Supreme Commander of the Pacific Theater represented the highest ranking official on the West Coast. With the support of the US Navy, MacArthur assumed complete leadership and on October 30, 1944, announced the creation of an Emergency Pacific States Government.
The Scinfaxi Invasion
MacArthur’s proclamation, although contemporarily viewed as among the most famous in American history, was initially met by confusion as to what it actually meant. Having been broadcast almost unannounced and with radio communication in disarray across the continent, many specifics of the message were lost on the general public.
The revised command structure he implemented did have a profound effect on military units acting in the region, however. With a new centralized authority and greater integration between the Army and Navy, resistance against the Scinfaxi intensified. For the next year the Pacific States remained almost entirely cut off from the rest of the world. Requests for aid eventually reached Washington D.C. through relays in Canada, but with the United States growing increasingly desperate, no assistance could be given.
The United Kingdom however was able to provide a small array of military forces, mostly those of the British Pacific Fleet which had retreated to Seattle and Vancouver after the fall of British colonies in South East Asia. Placed under American command, these forces would play a large role in the defense of the Pacific States.
With these elements in place, the Pacific States and its allies were not only able to hold their position, but even launch a limited offensive to retake Los Angeles. The “Drive to the Sea” as it has been immortalized was of little strategic benefit yet served to lift the morale of the civilian population who increasingly felt abandoned by the United States.
When the first Atomic Bomb was detonated in Chicago and the Scinfaxi began to retreat, the Pacific States finally resumed communication with the US Federal Government. As the forces of the United States, Pacific States and the British Empire advanced across the continent, tensions between the two Americas had already begun to fester.
Even before the war ended issues of sovereignty began to present themselves. Border states between the west and the east had restructured their governments to suit the situation during the Scinfaxi assault. In peace, they were unsure where they fit in the greater political divide between the US Government in Washington DC and the Pacific States Government in Seattle.
No event signified how drastically the United States had changed than the first conference between President Truman and General MacArthur, who met for the first time as equals. When MacArthur offered a handshake rather than a salute, it was clear the damage had been done. The relative success of the Pacific Government and the inability of the United States to provide any meaningful aid during the Scinfaxi War had left its mark. Across the military and civilian establishments in the Pacific States a new patriotic allegiance to MacArthur and an attitude that they had “done it alone” made reintegration difficult. MacArthur himself was famously obstinate and imposed conditions and terms the United States could not hope to fulfill in exchange for his resignation and the annexation of Pacific Territories.
In the end, the separation was mutual and agreeable. The issue of unification was postponed for five years and the Pacific States of America was recognized as a sovereign nation by the United States. Both governments would form a common economic bloc, but maintain an independent military, domestic, and foreign policies.
While the Pacific States underwent reconstruction at a furious pace the newly formed government was not deeply rooted enough to withstand economic and military pressures as well as the overbearing presence of MacArthur who came to utterly dominate the PSA government. Having been granted unparalleled power by the Pacific Senate, MacArthur pressed for the introduction of several controversial reforms, including the suspensions of elections until the “conclusion of reconstruction.”
While still regarded as a national hero, the increasingly authoritarian nature of his policies began to worry citizens in both the Pacific and United States. Finally, in 1952 a cadre of military officials led by Admiral Ernest King stormed the Presidential Office and demanded his immediate resignation. Elections were announced in the following weeks and MacArthur returned to civilian life; his legacy complicated by the later years of his governance.
In the following decades the Pacific States continued their transition into an independent nation with a series of political realignments yet largely stable self-governance. Referendums held every five years concerning unification with the United States initially were only narrowly in support of independence but by 1966 had widened to such a point that all talks of complete unification were suspended.
Throughout the latter decades of the 20th century the Pacific States of America was marked by rapid economic growth and political tranquility. The rise of political movements concerned with enhancing the quality of life of immigrants and refugees brought to the country during the Virus Crisis and Scinfaxi War dominated the 1980s. The election of many progressive and centrist parties widened the political gap with the United States and strengthened the relationship with the United Kingdom, which had undergone similar political developments.
The Second Scinfaxi War
The Pacific States played a large role in the early space exploration of the Solar System and subsequent colonization efforts. Heavily invested in the Alpha Centauri colony, the PSA was slow to recover from the series of crises resulting in its independence. Throughout the early period of the colonization effort, the Pacific States acted mostly in conjunction, and largely subordinate to the United States.
Politics and Government
The Pacific States of America is a democratic federal constitutional presidential republic, intentionally modeled as closely after the United States of America as possible, to the point where it is more useful to only disclose how they are different. As with the United States, the Pacific government is defined by the articles of its constitution, in this case the Pacific Constitution. The Pacific Constitution was written to be nearly identical to the United States Constitution as of 1944, containing much the same language in the original articles and amendments, save for some words changed around to fit the context. Some of the more superfluous amendments, such as the two banning and then later re-establishing the sale of alcohol, are omitted from the Pacific version.
The Pacific Constitution features an expanded Bill of Rights, with re-contextualized versions of the Reconstruction and Universal Suffrage amendments ordered right after the original ten and counted among them. It also incorporates the “Second Bill of Rights” that was proposed by American President Franklin Roosevelt during the darkest days of the First Scinfaxi War as a proposal to spur economic recovery should the war be won. These measures were at first rejected by the United States itself (before being adopted a century later after seeing the success in the Pacific States) but were taken up and embraced by the Pacific States. Under these amendments, Pacific Americans enjoy constitutional rights to employment, a fair income, freedom from monopolies, subsidized housing, universal healthcare, social security, and higher education. These measures were originally embraced by Governor General MacArthur as a way to add legitimacy to his regime and put to use the millions of refugees the Pacific States found themselves accommodating.
The Pacific States Federal government and State governments are organized similarly to that of the United States, with the legislative and judicial branches behaving exactly the same. The key difference lies in the Executive Branch. The head of state for the Pacific States is the Governor General and filling in for Vice President is the Lieutenant Governor. These names trace back to the General MacArthur’s founding of the country, serving the dual positions of de-facto Governor for the Western states and as General for the armies stationed there, after the Scinfaxi cut off communications with Washington. The difference is mostly in name only, and in practice the Governor General serves the exact same role as President. Another departure is the inclusion of a special council of advisors, the Governor’s Circle, which acts as a sounding board for ideas prior to their proposition in the legislature.
Having taken to the stars in cooperation with, and somewhat subservient to, the United States under Federation obligations, the Pacific States of America in time came up with their own solution for the administrative challenge of creating an interstellar federation, which in practice is almost identical to the one implemented by the United States. They too have a constitutional amendment ratified that implements an additional federal tier, but their federal middleman is instead called Planetary States. Just like Commonwealths are to the United States, the Planetary State governments directly reflect the Pacific Federal government, electing Governor-Majors in a system-wide election, and maintaining their own constitutions, legislatures, and courts.
A major difference in administration is that several Planetary States, particularly California, control more than one inhabited system, which is largely a temporary measure as several Pacific colonies are still in the early stages of development and benefit from the focus that arrangement provides. The Planetary States are also more decentralized than the Commonwealths, with Planetary legislatures reserving the ability to veto and override federal law, so long as doing so does not otherwise violate the Pacific Constitution. Some have argued this veto right technically could make the Pacific States classify as a confederation of states, but like in the United States, that particular word is not generally looked upon favorably and thus has not been adopted officially in any way.
The Pacific States of America is currently divided into 23 states and 4 federal territories. The states are split between five Planetary States: California, MacArthur, Aztlan, San Joaquin, and Yosemite, with their remaining systems being divided between the Federal and Planetary State territories, some of which are close to achieving Planetary statehood as well. Like with Independence, the Aztlan Planetary State shares the Aztlan system with an independent nation and fellow Democratic Federation member: The United States of Aztlan.
California is the direct continuation of the old State of California, graduated up from a State to a Planetary State. This reflects the Pacific States’ historical and present centralization around California as a whole. Several of the old Earth states such as Oregon and Idaho are confusingly also within California alongside newer ones, living on much like their Union counterparts; not having received the same promotion. Unlike the United States of America, post-interstellar admitted States currently outnumber pre-interstellar ones at 9-to-14, and their representatives dominate much of Pacific politics, particularly in the Senate. The Pacific States thus has the opposite subtle problem to the United States, with newer, more dynamic states dominating cultural and political discourse.
The Pacific States is bordered to the west by the New Canaan Republic, Republic of Gediz, and Tyrus Caliphate, to the north by the United States of America and the Federation capital Liberty, to the east by the Cascadian Planetary Republic, African Union, and the French Republic, and to the south by an uninhabited region of space currently claimed by France.
The Pacific States, as mentioned above, possess the second largest land military in the Democratic Federation, although its Navy and Air Force are much smaller. This is in part due to the fact that the Pacific States fought a primarily land engagement against the Scinfaxi and that the American refused to accept MacArthur’s authority. More important is the Pacific States military doctrine. Refraining from adventurism, the PSA prefers defense in depth and careful maneuvers. The PSA benefits in any case from considerable co-operation with the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. ‘Why build a fleet’ General Maria Rosa famously asked, ‘when you can have a friend’s fleet do the job?’
The Pacific States Government Army (PSGA), therefore, is ultimately a defensive force for maintaining territorial integrity. That is not to say it does not launch offensives. Indeed, it has a reputation for participating in siege warfare with other Federation members across the Orion Arm. When operating in concert with other Federation powers, the PSGA can prove an excellent blocking or occupation force. Repeated military maneuvers with the Commonwealth Army have made the two forces incredibly complementary. The name, ‘Pacific States Government Army’ is a nod to its past as an impromptu collection of US Army forces in the 1940s, and the name is still worn with pride.
The Pacific States Flotilla, or PSF, is one of the smallest navies amongst the Allied Worlds but is nonetheless an effective fighting force. Its current commander, Admiral Richard Harring has a reputation for marshaling his limited forces incredibly well. Again, annual military maneuvers with the Royal Navy have made their combined force something to be reckoned with, and the PSF is welcome in any engagement. To serve in the Flotilla is a mark of great honour, thanks in no small part to the part played by loyal Navy personnel during the so-called 'Authority Crisis' in the first years of the Pacific States' existence in the post-Scinfaxi world.
Governor-General MacArthur is remembered as a founding father figure by many in the PSA, but his legacy is complicated. In the late 1950s, MacArthur attempted, quite suddenly, to instate his own personal stamp of rule on the PSA by subordinating the legislature to his own office. The attempted ruling was backed by a faction within the PSGA who lauded MacArthur as a war hero and statesman. MacArthur declared, in a speech televised to the entire nation, that he took this step to ‘safeguard Continental America in the face of Communist entryism. I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.'
MacArthur's speech did little to quell dissenting voices. On his way to another speech, this time to protesting members of the House of Delegates (the Pacific equivalent to the House of Representatives). Before MacArthur arrived, however, an assassin opened fire on his motorcade. The attempt failed and the assassin was never identified. Within the hour, MacArthur declared martial law, citing the attempt on his life as proof of a communist threat within the PSA.
Martial law lasted for three days. Some units refused to go out into the streets at all. Some did so but left their weapons behind. Only in the immediate vicinity of the Governor-General's residence and in some areas of the capital were all of the measures enforced. Ernest King, commander of the Pacific States Flotilla and hero of the amphibious landings in Baja California, took several units of marines and navy personnel to the Governor-General's residence. Shots were fired in limited cases, and five were killed, but shortly before noon, Douglas MacArthur agreed to resign the office of Governor-General, reversing all of his previous constitutional changes and passionately advocating against any further violence. His last public words were: 'Like the old soldier of the ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Goodbye.' He died a year later and was given a state funeral.
Ever since that day, the Pacific States Flotilla no longer carried the designation of 'governmental' an indication of the supreme trust placed in it by a grateful Congress. In any case, it continues to serve with the same passion and loyalty as it always has done, and always will.
The Pacific States Government Air Force, the PSGAF, is the second largest arm of the Pacific States military, using a mixture of Federation equipment to operate as a sturdy fighting force both terrestrially and in the air.
As has been mentioned, the Pacific States enjoys the strongest relationships within the Democratic Federation, especially with the United Kingdom. The two nations have a shared history of co-operation and a similar interstellar outlook. Regular military exercises are coupled with even more regular state visits. Anglo-Canadians share open borders, lower tariffs, and other benefits with PS Americans. However, the two powers avoid the subject of political and economic integration at supranational levels. The Pacific States is the most vocal proponent of a unified Democratic Federation, while the United Kingdom has an outright hostile stance to such ambitions. A third junior partner, the Confederation of Australasia is also considered a part of what is often colloquially referred to as the ‘Cousins Alliance’ by dint of the shared ancestry between all of the powers involved.
The Pacific States also shares great relations with the French Republic. Many successful co-operations between these powers have occurred, and diplomatic crises have been few and far between.
Relations with the other interstellar powers, the Greater German Reich, the Soviet Union and the Empire of Japan are cool but calm. On the surface, the Pacific States holds a “sovereignty-rules” approach to ideological conflicts with communists and fascists. A deeper look into the mainstream political philosophy, however, reveals a polity that is deeply embittered towards human rights abusers and discrimination. But in official channels, the Pacific States is content to go its own way, and let other powers do the same as long as it doesn’t break interstellar law or threaten Pacific interests.
Relations with the United States of America
The United States and Pacific States exist together in a deeply integrated supranational union incorporated into the broader Democratic Federation, one that predates it by several decades and may very well end up postdating it as well. The two cooperate extremely closely on nearly all matters, including a shared market and monetary union, completely open borders and a dual citizenship program, close collaboration on military projects, and many shared elements to their culture, to the point where they are often considered both locally and abroad to be one nation with two governments and foreign policies. The two are sometimes even referred to colloquially as simply just America, much to the occasional chagrin of the Pan-American Republic.
This has led Pacific Americans to generally express reluctance at the prospect of reunification, as there is not presently a real downside to the current arrangement from the Pacific perspective, and they quite enjoy the autonomy it provides. In particular, as Americans outnumber them five times over, many Pacific Americans fear that full reunification would leave their collective interests underrepresented in New Philadelphia, as much as Americans in favor insist that their interests are one and the same. Pacific Americans in favor, though generally a minority, semi-seriously argue instead that their presence could significantly mellow out American politics and calm the sharper edges of their foreign policy. Regardless, referendums are still held periodically in both countries on the matter. At this point however, having existed for 345 years and the time before the Scinfaxi a distant cultural memory, it’s doubtful the Pacific States will be going anywhere soon without a major paradigm shift occurring.
Culture and Society
Pacific States culture is an interesting amalgamation of American, Latino and Anglo-Canadian precedents. Both consumerism and humanism share important status within PSA society. The Pacific States also values egalitarianism. A general distrust of the unchained free market dominates political life. Citizens and foreign residents have access to one of the most advanced welfare systems in the Orion Arm. There are considerable restrictions of the donation of money to political parties, and the Pacific States prides itself on being sometimes known as ‘the sensible man’s America’.
In other respects, the PSA is at its core an American country. It enjoys American entertainment, food, and sports (although cricket has made some headway). PS Americans, similar to US Americans, have a reputation for being loud, blunt, but friendly and hospitable. PS Americans have a similar nationalist streak as in the United States, although the themes in which vary radically. PSA nationalism focuses on a rejection of USA or Pan-American identity.
The Pacific States ended de jure segregation before its counterpart the United States. The diversity and richness of Pac-American culture makes the PSA a vibrant cultural hub famous for its art, food, and multiculturalism.
|Nations of the Democratic Federation|
|Founding Members||United States of America | United Kingdom | | French Republic | Confederation of Australasia | Pacific States of America|
|First Terrestrial Expansion||Republic of Quebec | Antillean Confederation|
|Second Terrestrial Expansion||Aztlán|
|First Extra-Solar Expansion||African Union | Cascadia Planetary Republic | Whitefall Free State | St Helens Free State | Halton Free State | Midway Colonial Administration | Republic of North Point|
|Second Extra-Solar Expansion||Port Daven Colonial Administration | Salvacion Colonial Administration | Kestrel City|