For Want Of A Monster:
A slightly ASB map for a request from Wisky-08 for a post 1900 USA that comes to unite/dominate all of North America in a Cold War. It takes a couple of elements from the Command & Conquer Red Alert series. This is a world where the young corporal Adolph Hitler dies in WWI. Without him the predecessors of the fledgling German Workers Party died a slow and rather unnoticeable death. The Weimar Republic staggered onwards for a few years longer before socialist uprisings threatened the nation. The army moved in and established a rather authoritarian order but their rule was somewhat more liberal and not even remotely party based.
There is no Nazi Party, no Third Reich and no Holocaust. Unfortunately it is the Soviet Union that takes the plunge. Stalin is smart enough to not attempt to start any wars but after an unfortunate early death due to food poisoning (completely natural of course, no poisons or anything like that) the new leadership are a lot less secure. World War II is begun as a means of providing stability and a goal for the Soviet Union. The Global Revolution is restarted as the USSR militarises itself and then begins a series of devastating invasions into the Middle East and Eastern Europe, citing the repression of communist and nationalist (but not fascist) groups as their reason to intervene.
WWII begins with the immense forces of the Red army flooding into Eastern Europe. The brave but backward armies of Poland are crushed by the Soviet juggernaut along with those of the Baltic and Romania. Germany puts up more of a fight and the armies of France, Italy and eventually Britain are sent to help them. Trench warfare is employed once again but fails to stand up to the new weaponry and numerous positions are overrun by the endless tide of Soviet soldiers. In the air great fleets of aircraft battle one another, attempting to protect bomber aircraft sent to demolish military positions, industrial sectors and cities. Ever on the defensive the Allies find themselves slowly being ground back west by the Red Army. In the second year of the war, as the Balkans fall, the Soviets also send a force through the Caucasus into the Middle East, seizing Iran, Anatolia and most of Mesopotamia. At the same time the Soviets also send weaponry into China. Their armies are all engaged in Europe and the Middle East but the Chinese Communists begin to make traction against the other factions in China. Only the regions occupied by the disciplined, militant and zealous Japanese hold out, not that that's much better.
It is after four years of war, in 1947, that the Tube Alloys Project begun by Britain finally bears fruit. They demonstrate it to the USSR when it is dropped on Soviet forces that had crossed into the Netherlands. The Soviets were far behind them in the development of their own atomic bomb but responded by employing enormous amounts of chemical ordinance on French forces holding the last defensive position on the Rhine. British production capabilities were still too small and strained for resources and thus a begrudging armistice was declared by the Allies and the Comintern.
The 1950s were a difficult period as the two superpowers struggled to adapt to the new status quo. WWII had ultimately been seen as a victory for Communism (having gained the most from it) and the remaining allies struggled to maintains stability. The British poured whatever resources they could into maintaining their empire, begrudgingly granting autonomy to India and fighting the Third Boer War in order to prevent Apartheid from taking hold of South Africa. WWII had exemplified many colonial regiments which at least helped develop a small sense of camaraderie between army units. It was ultimately the military that adopted the first post-racial ideals and characteristics that would later define the Commonwealth. However the 1950s was also the decade of the Great Upheaval. Across the world Communist groups flushed with confidence attempted to expand the Global Revolution further. They ultimately failed clashing against opponents that had developed a more ruthless conviction in the face of the Soviet behemoth.
In the United States the Great Upheaval was surprisingly harsh. Butterflies had removed FDR's successful election and the Great Depression had hobbled on. Whilst things had been slowly improving and WWII had provided a market for military products the corruption and poverty had led to a rather dramatic experience. After the riots had been put down the USA took a rather unfortunate turn. Martial Law was in place and the damage caused to the USA coupled with paranoia over the USSR and the Comintern led to the rise of a new political party. Dubbed the Patriot Party this was a fairly extreme right-wing group made up of politically inclined military personnel, big businessmen and various right-leaning demagogues who capitalised on the Great Upheaval. They blamed their political opponents for allowing Communism to infiltrate the USA an bring such terrible misfortune and promised to make the USA a bastion that the Soviet Union could never conquer. The American public flocked to them and those states that still had voting privileges quickly swept them into office. This led to the short Second American Civil War of 1954-56 that ended in Patriot victory and cemented their rule. With their enemies defeated, their conviction proven and their position solidified the Patriots immediately began tightening their grip on the nation.
Thing went from bad to worse in the 1960s. A dispute in the Middle East turned especially nasty when both the Soviets and the British installed nuclear weaponry in their possessions in the area. Tension rose as both sides began to make threats and eventually it all came to a head in 1964. A minor nuclear exchange took place and led to the destruction of a few cities on both sides. Capitals were left alone and the targets were usually either military or industrial complexes. Chastened by the destruction both dies then backed down and settled into an unsatisfactory glaring competition yet again. Britain was still recovering from the Great Upheaval whilst the Comintern had only just finished digesting its conquests and was dealing with partisans and terrorists across their new empire. The 64 Crisis had shown the world what nuclear weapons could do and also solidified the Silent War completely.
History happens as the world reacts to these new changes.
By 2014 the United States of America has calmed down from its worst case of batshit insanity in the 70s. The hyper-militant and somewhat inept rule of President Thurston threatened to collapse the Patriot regime completely and it was only through the valiant efforts of his reformist successor that the now bloated and corrupt USA ever survived. In order to maintain continental integrity and remove the threat of the imperialist and communist influences on the continent the USA took the opportunity to invade and annex first Canada and then Mexico. The poor harvests of the 60s, caused by so much ejecta from the nukes, were alleviated by crops brought in from their new conquests at the cost of only a few million Canadians and Mexicans. The rest of Central America was swallowed by Thurston's regime in hopes of distracting the public (and satisfying the President's “America Fuck Yeah” tendencies).
Whilst they are still very fascist to this day the USA has had some economic reforms and has even restarted elections. The USA is officially a multi-party democracy yet again but opposition leaders usually spend most of their time in jail for some trumped charge or another, especially during the elections. Though martial law was ended decades ago the streets are still heavily policed by national guardsmen equipped military grade weaponry. Mexico and most of Canada are also still treated like occupied nations. The attempts to assimilate the Canadians failed in most areas and polite terrorism is still common (remember 1812) with resistance groups targeting military installations only with the covert British assistance in the form of weapons and training by special forces. Mexico and the rest of Central America are under a sort of Apartheid style regime since the USA has had trouble convincing white people to move here and replace the Hispanic people. They have compromised with the lighter Hispanics but for the most part it is usually unpleasant for a Latin citizen in American Mexico. African Americans are still treated in the same manner they were in OTL 1960s. The Civil Rights Movement was stamped down as a Communist attempt at subversion. At the very least they're not being exported or exterminated.
The Patriot government once tried to endorse a program of prodigious breeding and worked hard to keep white American women barefoot and pregnant for as long as possible. This has helped bolster the white population further but by this point the women of America have become to resistive to these programs. Large families are still the norm and women are barred or discouraged from professional occupations but by 2014 they have begun to enter some domestic oriented portions of the workforce. Children are indoctrinated from the moment they enter the state owned education system and are subjected to propaganda on a constant basis. Heavily edited text books print fallaciously false history as fact and teach it to the American public on a constant basis. Media is also run by the government but by this point countless pirate stations exist and a lot of citizens illegally check up on BBC broadcasts whenever they can get away with it. Corporations, now heavily involved in government, constantly encourage consumerist spending. It is their ruthlessly capitalist attitude that has allowed the Americans to maintain an economy that is, now only narrowly, exceeding their expenditure.
America's closest ally is the Empire of Japan. A need for allies and their alienation with the British prompted this seemingly unlikely alliance. Both nations bonded over their traditionalist and authoritarian leadership, their hatred of Communism and their beliefs that certain people, namely whites and Japanese respectively, should be in charge of others. Japan used to dominate nearly all of East Asia outside of the Commonwealth and the America's spheres of interest. They have since been forced to gear back and have lost most of China to the Chinese Peoples Republic. However they have rallied and with American help they have preserved a subservient puppet state in the south where it was easier to create racial tensions and divisions.
Japan is still a very traditionalist nation and a lot more of their culture has survived and remained prominent. Like America they were not directly affected by the 64 Crisis but the poor years afterwards made things especially difficult. Bad harvests led to triage measures when it came to food distribution, millions of Chinese, Koreans, Indonesians and others starved, the Chinese Communists mounted another poorly orchestrated invasion and rebellion broke out over most of the empire, mostly due to starvation, which prompted further militarisation. The rebellions were all crushed with extreme prejudice and many Japanese look on this period as a necessary culling of the numbers. Colonisation efforts have only worked in certain areas. Manchukuo is finally majority Japanese as is Taiwan but the rest of the empire is under some form of colonial control. Some areas even require concerted occupation by both Japanese and American forces. The Japanese still continue to have large families but like in America things are beginning to change and more women are starting to seek out jobs. Gender roles are even more strictly enforced than in America and traditional ideas and virtues are celebrated in order to crush any thoughts of disobedience. Bushido is no longer as important as it once was since conventional wars are now less likely to happen but most Japanese soldiers still stick to it when in active duty. The frequent rebellions ensure the Japanese people that their armed forces may receive plenty of practical experience.
Whilst fascists the nations of the Third Entente do not like either the Americans or the Japanese, seeing them as traitors who abandoned them to fight the Communist menace and then capitalised on the disaster whilst the rest of the world was struggling to recover. France was taken over by a military government in the wake of their defeat in WWII. This eventually collapsed too but was quickly taken over a populist nationalist party that restored order and then descended into totalitarianism. France dominates the Entente at this moment but their position is being challenged by the German Reich which has managed to rapidly recover. The lower standards of living in the rest of the Entente do help. Most of former French Africa is now independent but remains in the Entente. This is mostly because the independence of these colonies is nominal at best and the ruling dictators rely on French and Italian guns and money to remain in power and fund their hedonistic lifestyles.
Britain was able to save most of it's empire and spent decades investing in it. This unfortunately took up most of their time and money which prevented them from stopping their former allies in Europe from all spiralling into totalitarianism but they have since made up for it. The Commonwealth of Nations likes to paint itself as the protector of the free world and the defender of democracy. At first they used to refrain from liberal rhetoric due to still being an empire but since they finally enfranchised the last of their remaining colonies they now stand for federal cooperation, social democracy, racial integration and equality. Most prestige and power is in the remaining white dominions and the UK itself but the former African and Asian economies are now catching up and gaining more power and influence. Life in the UK is very cosmopolitan but the population is a lot lower. Close proximity to the Comintern and the Entente has forced a lot of the population to move away to other parts of the Commonwealth. This, along with refugees from Europe and North America, has bolstered the white population of Britain's colonies. There is a central parliament with representatives from every dominion and associate including India which handles pan-national policy including foreign relations and military decisions.
Most of the rest of the Alliance is made up of various other regional federations and alliances that are all tied to Britain. The North Sea Association is made up of recently liberated nations that were abandoned by the Comintern. The monarchies in exile of Scandinavia and the Low Countries were reinstated after the USSR retracted in the 90s and have received a lot of monetary investment in order to restore their economies. They are tied to Britain's economy completely and share their nuclear arsenal as well. Brazil is not part of a regional bloc but they ended up so intertwined with the UK during the Second World War and the aftermath that maintaining good relations became integral to Brazil's economy. India on the other hand is officially part of the Commonwealth but has been practically independent since the 1960s. They were granted dominion status in the 50s but did spend years afterwards striking a political balance that could appease of the different cultural identities, religions and individual ideologies. Today India is a federal construct with an internal political balance that is incredibly complicated and at times, counterproductive. The British royal family are still recognised as Emperor's of India but there position is little more than symbolic (it supposedly helps national unity) and the local parliament is a completely independent entity. India's collective economy is the largest in the Commonwealth but their internal divisions and nominal membership keep them from dominating the entire Commonwealth. The Allied Defence Treaty was created in the 50s in order to create a centralised military network that can organise and coordinate Allied military activity.
All three of these organisations are opposed to the Comintern, which still sprawls over most of Eurasia. With fewer direct rivals for power the USSR was able to dominate global communism even more than OTL. Unfortunately this simply overstretched them even further. With more resources available to them they were able to pull through the economic downturn of the 90s and early 2000s. This forced them to abandon several of their puppets, allowing their enemies to take control of them, and cut several of their puppets and allies loose. Economic reforms combined with fewer commitments have allowed the Soviet economy to recover enough to exceed their fortunately shrinking expenditure. With poorer technology and the usual Soviet inadequacies their attempts to create a computerised economy have not been that successful but have helped shrink the bureaucracy a bit by replacing them with all of the necessary technicians instead. The current Premier is working to make his nation more efficient by purging the more corrupt elements of government and replacing them with his own puppets whilst keeping the more hard working and talented politicians on their toes. Several top officials used to political impunity have begun to notice and are beginning to make their own preparations.
There is currently a religious revival amongst the people of the Soviet Union. The government has capitalized on the resurgence of the Orthodox Church and supports it but is a lot less happy than about the recovery of Islam. Without support from a non-existent NATO the Taliban and other militant Muslim extremists were eventually exterminated but new religious terrorist groups have emerged since than. Small scale capitalism is now allowed by the government and has helped raise national GDP. Martial law was in effect during the worst of the 90s economic downturn but it has now officially ended and there are less heavily armed law enforcers on the streets. However the surveillance state is still in effect and has in fact been expanded with more cameras and microphone bugs being placed every year.
The Chinese Peoples Republic is independent but still dependent on the USSR since the East is still under the control of the Pact. China has finally moved on from their Maoist style agrarian communism and begun to industrialise which has helped them with their economic problems. China still follows the ideal of permanent revolution since they plan to reunite the rest of the country and as a result are incredibly militant. The army and the police are the same entity and massive stockpiles of weaponry have been manufactured which along with universal conscription, subterranean industries, civilian drills and generally belligerent diplomacy prepares the nation for their eventual war.
Technology is at about the same level as the OTL 1990s. Due to most of the world being totalitarian and the free world being militant by necessity not only is technological process slower but the world is generally poorer than OTL as well. Nuclear arsenals are larger and the fear of nuclear war is still very real even with the slight decline of the USSR and the Comintern. In fact due to the retraction of the Soviets and the abandonment of many of their puppets and sponsored insurgencies there is a genuine fear that the fascist power at the very least, will become even more unstable. This world is also less connected due to the animosity between the four power blocs and the instability of a multi-polar Cold War. There has been more emphasis on recycling, resource refinement and synthetic products since less global trade has reduced the available pools of resources available to each power. At the same time there has also been a bigger environmental movement largely thanks to the fascist powers and their obsessions with nature. Still a lot more of the world has been industrialised by powers desperate to make the most out of their colonies, associates, allies and puppets which has sped up global warming and pollution (less so in the Pact and the Entente but acid rain, smog and floating rubbish don't really respect national boundaries). The Allies have been a lot more willing to use nuclear power in order to become self-sufficient in energy production since most oil sources are now in the hands of the Communists and the fascists.
There was even a space race (Soviets were first on the Moon thanks to captured German rocket research) that has only slowed down in recent years as the great powers try to put more stuff on the Moon and in orbit. Some day man may step on Mars and see if there's any resources worth claiming.