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Sir Humphrey

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Under the Crimson Skies – A California AAR

***

*I do not have the game at the moment, but these early updates all ahppen before the game starts anyway.

Forward


Perhaps a brief introduction is necessary at this stage of the affairs, to make clear certain aspects of this AAR to the readers, and it was gratefully provided by Professor Warren Gilmont of Harvard University (1945), which can be read later in this paragraph. There are a number of references to the game 'Crimson Skies', and some events have been used to start this AAR. There are a number of conditions that this AAR will be written under, and that I will abide to at all times. This AAR, 'Under the Crimson Skies' will be written from both a subjective standpoint, through various characters and events, but also objective with the use of a more abstracted narrative. This AAR will attempt to written with the foremost attempt at maintaining a facade of reality and realism, and only when absolutely unavoidable will this AAR use 'gamey' language and terms, and is to be written through the medium of a historical recount or current monologue of events and happening in the game world. On looking towards characters, there is a certain amount of artistic license used in this AAR. Historical characters in the other major nations and events will maintain a relatively historical footing, and major events outside of Norther America shall remain on a relative historical path. For characters in North America, some will be and act historically, whilst others may be entirely fictional. On a special occasion or two, characters from an other AAR (namely the Rise of the Establishment) may make an appearance, but will not be central characters. As mentioned, this AAR does not go under the pretense of a 'gamey' after action report, and I shall maintain the greater realism of writing, through the course of the game and the results of the actions. Certain events and indeed some updates will not have happened, or would be impossible 'in game', but certainly form important decisions and actions in this AAR. Also, screen shots from 'in game' will be used rather sparingly, with more favor towards historical photographs or illustrations, however some screens such as the research screens, or perhaps the budgetary menu may be used, to explain the decisions in the after action report. There are a number of rules that I will be applying to this AAR, which are of the following. The current version, off the shelf will be used, no cheating of any sort, and no convenient in game exploits. This AAR may end in victory or defeat, but hopefully it will be enjoyable and a good read.

It is important to note that the first few updates will take place before the start of the game.

***

I.

When the emanate Professor Warren Gilmont of Harvard University began his study of North America, of which he never finished by the time of his death in 1962, it is still looked towards as the most objective account of North America from the beginning of the 20th century up until his death, for his work was never ending, always a new event, new account, a new facet of the era being uncovered. His unfinished work, which was entitled 'The Americas', gave a sweeping account of the events, people and actions that had swept the continent. It scaled from the large strategic and government decisions that affected millions through documents and specially accessed national archives, but also intimate personal details, from soldiers accounts of the campaigns and the various brush wars that flared up, to the civilian side of the era, the changing face of the public, the affect of Hollywood, no detail, no matter how minute was left uncovered. An extract from the beginning of the 'The Americas' sums up the state of affairs, and he would go on to examine the deep rooted causes for the events that would follow in the first 50 years of the 20th century.

There was no single warning sign that pointed to the breakup of the United States of America. The American Civil War in 1860 may have played a part, say some, while others blame the so-called Founding Fathers, who failed to predict the collapse of the nation. Regardless of the root cause, the result is the same: the United States of America, that great experiment in Democracy, crumbled in the late 1920s.
For the first 17 years of the 20th century, the United States of America remained isolated from world affairs, and it was only during the Great World War that the United States involved herself in European affairs, much to the discontent of many citizens, who saw this as unnecessary adventure in a war that America had nothing to do with. The events that dragged the United States into war are already well documented, and need not be explained here, many other publications covering the events and decisions that were made. When she broke her isolation, she fought well, and though her peacetime army was smaller than Portugal's, her new determination surfaced and her citizenry fought bravely on the fields of Europe. By 1918, the central powers had been defeated, and Americas brave boys decided to return home, though after the battles of the Great War, not only the medals of conflict hung from their chests, but also the sickness of war was lodged firmly in their chests and hearts as well. The deadly influenza strain that swept the world in an epidemic that some say almost paralleled the black death of the middle ages. As hundreds of thousands died in the post war epidemic, it brought strong feelings to bear in the United States. Many viewed this as a disease brought to America by involvement in a European Affair, and that the United States of America should never had ventured overseas.

As talk replaced the troubles of war, so did disease replace health of the citizenry of the world, and the united joy that had once been seen and experienced the world over, was replaced by cynicism and mistrust.
 
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Sir Humphrey

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This is an After Reading Report. Sorry, could someone please change the ARR to AAR thanks. :)
 

unmerged(6766)

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So a California AAR :) Wonderful. I'll definitely watch this one with interest.
 

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I really would like to thank you and all those guys who will yet write their AARs.The release date around these parts seems to be end of January, and the only reason I registered on the forums (although I've been playing Paradox games since EU1) is to read the AARs and pester you lucky ones ;) Your AAR looks to be imaginitive and good fun. Hope it does well. Good luck !

PS As far as I understood Professor Warren Gilmont is an entirely fictional character, right ?
 

unmerged(6766)

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San Francisco province (my home area) still looks weird, but it's ok, I know they have to do that for the rivers. Oh does this mean we might be able to get a California Flag avatar finally! One wasn't available for Victoria even though it was in that game. I so would like to get rid of my current flag sig but I still want to represent California.... Moderators??
 

Sir Humphrey

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Thanks for the support. :)

The Professor is fictional, but a rather interesting figure. :)

Don`t mind the map at all, very nice.

Thanks for changing the title.

II.

In the aftermath of the post war influenza epidemic that had swept across the globe like a vast insurmountable plague that could only rival the death toll of the black death of the middle ages, and this peace time killer would fell many more than were killed during the Great War. In Russia, terror stalked the lands as red and white Russia clashed for what remained of the shattered Tsardom. The United States had been hurt very badly by the influenza epidemic, and it had not only changed the mentality of the nation, but also the political landscape, for not only had the flue put undue pressure on the resources of the federalist government, but like an unwanted weed that had sprouted in the political back yard of the politics of the United States, what became known as regionalism, and in the eyes of Washington it was a deadly mixture, spurned on the by the catalysis of freedom, independence, epidemic and isolationism. When the founding fathers of the United States had drawn together the constitution, their spirit of freedom and democracy was designed to make the United States a fortress of freedom and liberty, yet it was argued that this was the Achilles heel of the whole system, which some would view as the system that would lead to internal strife and eventual collapse. The states always had certain political and governmental powers, limited to within a certain degree by the federal authorities in Washington, however they still maintained freedom to pass their own laws, one such notable example was that of Slavery, until the federal government intervened, which in turn was one of the reasons that would lead to civil war in the 19th century. Regionalists by definition were opposed to the Federalists. Regionalists, in their varying forms sought to curtail the powers of the federal authorities, some called for greater freedom in law making and consideration for stronger state based initiatives and less federal interventionism, in some issues that the states regarded as their own, to all out secession from the Union, though in the period from 1920 until 1929 these campaign and their leaders were relatively rare, and poorly organized. However the isolationist movement was more concerned with the United States as a whole remaining abstained from the outside world, save North America.

The many isolationist movements that began to gain significant influence in the United States in this period, many already convinced by the United States involvement in the European War, and the subsequent return of the influenza virus by her returning servicemen, gained notable support, both with the public and with the politicians. With President Wilson pushing for the formation of the League of Nations after the end of hostilities in Europe, to try and prevent a repeat of the disastrous war which had cost so many lives. However, much to this great man's dismay, the isolationist movement had made a great many inroads, and much of the American citizenry were against such action so far from home. President Wilson's increasing favour for the League grew much fire from the movements, and it would ultimately cost him the election. This allowed Warren G. Harding's 'New Independence from Europe' Campaign to gain significant and decisive momentum. Harding and his campaign called for a the United States removal from world affairs, a separation from the rest of the globe, the United States would turn her back on Europe.

There was a distinct lack of cloud in the sky, perfect weather for speeches thought Harding, who would provide to the ever listening public the isolationist dogma that they clambered for. The large wooden stage, hastily constructed and adorned in the red, white and blue canvass that was always the mainstay of American political shows seemed to convey the message of the crowd. They demanded their speaker and his words of wisdom. The microphone crackled slightly, the crowd listening with every breath as the tester made sure the preparations were all in order, and the announcer, walked proudly onto the stage, his Harding Badge clearly in display for all to see. His eyes gleaming with excitement, and chest full of patriotism. He announced Harding in an absolutely bombastic tone that almost shook the stage with the very sound. Harding walked on to the center of the stage, his hands waving, his mind set and his will undeniable. He began with a soft introduction, tame almost and then, just like the script writer had sought, he burst to life.

When will America relies that her future does not lie in Europe or Asia, but her manifest destiny lies in the hearts of everyone of her citizens! For when your fathers, brothers and sons were ordered to Europe to fight a European war, they became infected, not only these actions but by the flue! All of you know or have lost somebody to this epidemic, and they would be here today if we had not become entangled in outside affairs! We do not want to be part of the world that has brought disease and war to your homes, we wish to turn our back on those things and find the freedom and liberty in our own nation, in our own hearts! America shall be free in the world!” And so the rest of the speech continued in much the same manner and the same euphemisms. America would effectively turn her back on the world, save for her own yard, just in case any threat were real or in some cases imagined.

The election in 1920 was one of the most bitter that had been fought since the civil war era, with many divisions running deep, and uncharacteristically along state lines, though it never approached the levels that had been seen during that period, the new type of politician, the regionalist's began to expand their influence and grow permanent power bases amongst the political institutions. However Harding's strong isolationist policies backfired when the various regional groups adopted this as an element of their party platform, of which Harding relished, if he became President (which he would), then his power would be undermined. Although the regionalists twisted the campaign into stronger elements for the states, many new programs, campaigned for on a state by state basis became the normal political dealing. However getting back to the 1920 election, Wilson was tired and weak from the campaigning in Europe and the League of Nations had taken a drain on both his political and mental thinking. His campaign was seen by many as comparatively weak, and although there were many bitter divisions, a new element had emerged. Prohibition.
 

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Good start! I'd like to see how this turns out once you get the game, though.
 
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will this breakup AAR (which i shall read; it looks promising) feature a CSA or some sort of grouping of southern states? not only is it more then plausible and something id love to see, but im intrested if the game can do it without outside assistance like modding the nation in.
 

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According to the big screenshots thread in the genera HoI2 forum, California, Texas, and the CSA are all already present in the data files (there's actually an event allowing Germany to partition the US in this manner). However, the CSA, at least, is just an empty tag - no ministers or tech teams exist for it.
 

Sir Humphrey

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Thank you very much everyone for the support and comments. When the game reaches my grubby little hands, I will be adding some more nations other than California to the continent.

III.

Alcohol, in one view a beverage femented from various materials into a smooth blend that was plesant to drink and if enough was drunk, would provide the drinker with slight intoxication and in some cases lucrative export dollars. An opposing view that was held by a significant number of people and their organizations was that alcohol was the drink of the devil and that alcoholic beverages were the reasons behind the decay of social and moral fiber that America was experiencing. The stock market, once the playground of the tycoons and old money, the stock market surged with the flow of money, that did not come from the tycoons, but from the ordinary people who saw the stock market as a way to make money, live out the American dream. For those who invested in the stock market, the returns were increasing every day. The federal government, under the leadership of the deeply isolationist President Harding had failed to take the initiative in the prohibition debate, for unlike other issues, this decisively polarized the nation, something that a President did not want take sides on when a considerable volume of votes were at stake.

By the time of the new years eve celebrations of 1920, the prohibition arguments had been well worn, and as shown, the federal government had neither the will of the clout to force through the constitutional amendment of prohibition, and early 1921 would be marked by the increasing pressure from the public to see the prohibition amendment to the constitution passed through, but it failed again. This was the failing of the system that the regionalist's were expecting, some would say hoping for.

A number of regions then began their own prohibition campaigns and by the middle of 1921, a number of states became dry. 'The consumption, production and trafficking of all alcoholic beverages within the boundaries of this state shall thenceforth be declared illegal, and any and all persons participating in any of the said acts, shall be prosecuted to the full extend of the law.' The posters declared, plastered on almost every available wall that was to be had, that is within the areas that were declared dry. California, the great western state on the coast of the Pacific was one state that defiantly did not become a dry state.

However consequently, checkpoints, blockades and other such bottle necks appeared along state lines, their purpose to stop the flow of liquor and alcohol into the dry areas, which increased the tension between the states dramatically, as dry state governors protested at the wet state counterparts, and these liquor checkpoints also became gather places for the bootleggers and smugglers that began to spring into operation when the prohibition laws sprang into place. The liquor checkpoints on the state lines also became a great source of income, as many state officials became involved in the bootlegging, and as long as their wallets grew ever fuller, or a case of the illegal alcohol fell off the back of a lorry and into the hands of more than a few state officials. Corruption became rampant along the state lines and many enterprising young men and women began devising ever more ingenious ways of transporting the illegal cases of elixirs.


Prohibition in Action​

By 1922, every state in the Union had decided upon the issue of prohibition with states campaigning for their own interests ignoring the plea emanating from Washington to place a halt upon legislature 'That could harm the fortitude of the continental United States.' However the statehouses ignored this plea coming from Washington and the United Faced became segregated over the issue of prohibition. California, already established as one of the United States primary wine producing states did little to dampen the situation and enraged her neighbors by creating what became known as the 'Beer Backing' scheme which saw Californian alcohol subsidized by the state government, and the brewing and fermenting jumped dramatically as Californian liquor, both illegal and legal crossed the border into Arizona, which decided to become a dry state, and even in Utah, which was one state across, there was Californian bootlegged alcohol to be found.

So, by the end of 1922, prohibition had become law in around half the states of the Union, and there were campaigns on both sides to see it enforced in their own wet states, and campaigns to see it end in the dry states. In Chicago, the small time bootleggers had given way to organized gangs that were importing alcohol across the Canadian border, and these gangs with names 'The East Side Mob' and 'Barclays Butchers', running of alcohol became big business and even attracted the attentions of the great crime families of New York, who saw opportunity to increase their profits. However, when gangs compete, only a vicious turf war over territory could be instigated. The city, the capital of bootlegging was the battlefield, and the city was carved up between the various gangs and mobsters, and even an agreement was signed between two of the small gangs, a mob of young discontent Irishman and a group of native Chicagoans who went into business quickly, when the saw an advantage. A blood war would be begun now, and only finish with the generation of gangsters came along.

With checkpoints already sprung up, most people continued their lives as normal, though in all dry states, except notably for Utah, Speakeasies and illegal liquor saloons sprung up, and corruption amongst state officials increased sharply. It was rumored that the entire police force of Chicago were in the pockets of the gangs, but the prohibition issue was not only a victory for organized crime, but also for the regionalists, who saw this another chink in the federalists armor.

On the 2nd of August 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren Harding died of a heart attack whilst on tour in the western states. His administration had been one of controversy, with rumors of rampant corruption and controversy. He had been ill of suspected food poisoning, and his wife, Flossie was suspected of poisoning him, but little evidence was found. His chief of staff, in a devastating letter to the nations major newspapers, just before his death claimed that he was ”The uninspiring president, who lacked any vision and talent for anything but wasting the publics money and appointing his corrupt friends into positions of power. He took no firm stance on anything and gambled in the white house. He saw the presidency as a ceremonial role, but had a friendly manner and no real enemies. He managed to turn the white house into his own private gambling and drinking for him and his bent cronies.” As the president was dead, the leadership of a nation of increasing tensions was passed Calvin Coolidge.
 
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