QX4178W is a Vacuity Pocket in which the point of divergence began when United States President William Henry Harrison narrowly avoided his death from pneumonia and survived into office. Due to Harrison's survival and later actions, he enforced the Fugitive Slave Act which lead to the Northern American states to secede from the Union. As of 2780, QX4178W was consumed by the Grey Swarm.
American secession began in March 1846 when abolitionist John Brown was arrested for killing two federal officials investigating his Subterranean Pass Way, an organization devoted to helping slaves escape from their masters. Brown was tried in federal court in Virginia, where he was arrested, leading to conviction of murder. There was an uproar all over the North over this trial, the main argument being that Brown was not tried by a jury of his peers: non-slave owners. The federal government and President Harrison stood by the court’s decision and refused to grant Brown a pardon. The controversy further fanned the flames of division, as the South stood resolute by the strict enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act and the North condemned it. Brown was executed in 1848, to the protests of hundreds of thousands, including many state governors in the North.
In protest, many Northern states re-instituted their Personal Liberty Laws, in direct defiance of the Constitution. These new laws were written to be even stricter, preventing federal officials from haling those who helped slaves escape into Federal court. When ordered by President Harrison to repeal them on grounds of unconstitutionality, state legislatures voted to secede from the Union. The New England states led the charge, followed shortly by New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa and Illinois. Together, these states formed the Federated Republics of America. The FRA was almost a carbon copy of the United States, but with one key difference: they banned slavery.
President Harrison reacted to the secession poorly. He argued that the Union was not a suicide pact, and so states could not leave the Union. Southerners, which dominated the federal government, did not want to see their country’s economy split in two, and so overwhelmingly supported war. When a clash between troops loyal to the Federal government, and troops loyal to the FRA, occurred in New York, President Harrison declared the FRA’s constituent states to be in rebellion and called for the remaining loyal states to take up arms.
The American Civil War lasted for three years. Both sides were evenly matched, leading to many bloody stalemates and victories that would be countered by defeats soon after. It was the intervention of Great Britain that turned the tide decisively in the FRA’s favor. Wishing to end slavery, and to weaken the United States, the British were overwhelmingly in support of the FRA. It only took a diplomatic incident in the Bahamas for Britain to join the war. Knowing that he would lose, President Harrison, whose grip on the nation was already crumbling after he postponed elections, sued for peace. The United States was split in two.
The two nations, although having similar origins, took wildly divergent paths. Both expanded westward, but while the FRA was limited in its expansion by British demands for territory out west, the United States expanded quickly, spreading slavery wherever it went. A brief war with Mexico in 1867 almost brought British and FRA intervention, but the quick conclusion of the conflict only succeeded in keeping a rump Mexico independent.
The two nations fought another bloody war in the 1900s, when they took opposite sides in the Great War. This saw the defeat of the FRA and its Russian and Ottoman allies, although the British managed to get out of the war status quo ante and German-aligned Austria collapsed after the war. The United States gained much of the FRA’s western states, causing bitter resentment within the FRA.
The modern world is divided into four blocs. The British and French challenge one another for influence in Asia with their Chinese and Japanese allies, respectively, but both states are eager to restore their national pride against Germany after their defeat in the Great War. The Germans and their Italian and American allies, both autocratic, stand proud over the world after their victory. The FRA’s democratic government fell to a revansh government, one based on the expansionist Revansh Party of Russia. Both Revansh Pact states seek to “right the wronged” by starting another war with the Tripartite Alliance, a war that they believe they will win.