America

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(United States of America)

Industrial/Atomic/Information/early Interplanetary age polity and superpower, also known as the United States of America, or USA. Note that the term America was the most commonly used term for the USA, even though it was not strictly the correct name for that country. The Americas consisted of the continents North America and South America and the several polities and cultures found on them. Though it was the largest nation on the continent of North America, other countries, such as Mexico, Canada, several smaller southern nations, and later the seceded former USA states that formed Cascadia and California were also located on North America.

A very powerful nation state with a mighty military and highly developed capitalist economy, America gave the world a number of lasting institutions, including 2D television, the 8-lane highway, televangelism, MacDonalds, Coca Cola, MTV, the Internet, rap culture, the Microsoft operating system, and Silicon Valley.

They were the first Old Earth polity to develop nuclear weapons, the first to use them, the first to land a man on the moon (but not the first to put a man in space), the first to develop a "star wars" shield (which never lived up to expectations), and the first to build a viable interplanetary capital ship (the Randolph).

During the Information Age America weathered several serious acts of terrorism from both overseas and local extremists, and a decline in relative power that followed the rise of other major nations in what had been the less developed parts of the world, but the downfall of this great polity was the result of factional secession and a depressed economy during the late Information and early Interplanetary period. By the middle Interplanetary period, extravagant and last-gasp acts to assert its former political supremacy like the construction of the Randolph bankrupted the polity. However both the remnant America and the ex-member states in California and Cascadia continued to flourish and were influential both on Old Earth and in its colonies right up until the nanoswarm disaster.

America was a major, though by no means dominant, player in Old Earth and Inner System politics, and many settlements in the further reaches of Solsys were either American or influenced by America. Many important early interstellar colonies were influenced very strongly by American culture, including Nova Terra, Pacifica, Atlantis and later colonies like New California and New Cascadia. The influence of American culture lasted long after the nation itself was extinct, into the First Federation era and beyond, and is often known as Americanism.

Even in the modern era the influence of America, and of other ancient cultures such as the Roman Empire, the British Empire, Imperial Egypt and China are still important, if only because of reconstructions of those eras for virtual reality entertainment. However such VR histori-dramas are quite often factually inaccurate or even entirely misleading.

Perhaps the most lasting legacy of America and Americanism is the widespread use of Anglic, a language family derived from the predominant American Tongue, English.

 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev; additions by Steve Bowers

Initially published on 10 September 2001.