21st Century PoliticsEdit
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the members of the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact began to seek more autonomy, and break away from Moscow's grip, as the U.S.S.R. underwent drastic market reforms and a thawing of relations with the western world. Poland was the first country behind the Iron Curtain to hold free elections in 1985, followed by Czechoslovakia the following year. By 1992, only the People's Republic of Yugoslavia and the German Democratic Republic had retained socialist governments. Many people viewed the destruction of the Iron Curtain as occuring in 1995, when Germany was allowed to reunify, with the West absorbing the East. This caused fear amongst some of Germany's neighbors (particularly Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, the BeNeLux countries and France) and in the following years, a greater emphasis was placed on European integration and unification.
In 2000, the European Commonwealth was formed when the nations of Europe united under a federal structure, adopting a single currency, the Euro. Another historical aspect of the E.C. (as it was commonly abbreviated) was the opening of all borders, allowing any European citizen to freely travel from one member state to another without the need for a passport or a border checkpoint. Though not a full member, the Eurasian state of Turkey enjoyed a "special relationship" with the E.C. due to historical and cultural ties with Europe. The United Kingdom, while a member state, retained a large degree of control over its own military, arguing that it needed to protect its non-European interests, such as the Falklands and Hong Kong.
In 2008, after 150 years as a British subject, the Raj of India was finally granted full independence (Although the process had been going on since the mid 20th century, the United Kingdom still retained some control over the subcontinent), and the new Greater Republic of India was formed out of the former British commonwealths. It was believed that a strong, independent India would work as a counter to the growing power of China, which had slowly been growing in superpower status over the last few decades. Unfortunately, ethnic and religious tension between the Indian and Pakistani lands weakened the state from the beginning, and it was never able to fulfill this task.
In the late 2000s, most of the western world became engulfed in a crippling economic recession. The People's Republic of China managed to avoid the worst effects, due to its relative isolation from the international economic community (Much like the Soviet Union in the 1930s). In Taiwan, many citizens began to question the merits of liberal democracy and free markets, while the communist mainland seemingly flourished. As clashes between citizens and police grew more frequent, Beijing began to step up their propaganda campaign against the island. In 2015, the Kuomintang Party lost the majority of seats in the republican parliament against the pro-mainland Communist Party, and after 66 years, Taiwan was peacefully reincorporated into the PRC. The United States (A firm ally of the pro-west Republican government) protested the legitimacy of the reunification, but there was little that could be done. In the following years, all evidence of the "Republic of China" began to be erased, as Taiwan was completely assimilated.
Fall of the British EmpireEdit
Alhough the United Kingdom slowly fell from superpower status after World War II, the British government remained determined to maintain their vast empire. As the years went by, this proved to be much easier said than done, as many British possessions desired independence from the crown. In order to remedy the tension, the British dominions were granted a large degree of autonomy. Though these tensions did erupt into revolt in the case of Canada, where the Valentine's Revolution in 1970 saw the death of 30 British soldiers and the injury of hundreds of Canadians in order to gain independence from the Empire. Australia and New Zealand were both much more reluctant to sever ties with the crown, as fears of Chinese military expansionism gripped the populace, the memories of Japanese bombings that had occured 20 years previously still fresh in the national conciousness. Despite their desire, Australia and New Zealand underwent similar reforms to Canada in 1971 and 1974, respectively. As a result, the two nations turned towards the United States for protection, with Washington more than willing to counter communist Chinese influence in the Pacific. Independence came swiftly for most of the remaining territories, with South Africa voting to peacefully leave the empire in 1990. However, the British crown remained determined to cling on to the "jewel" of the empire - the Raj of India. As the economic crisis of the 2000s hit Great Britain, even this remained impossible, and in 2020, in the face of economic troubles and resistance from the population, the "Republic of India" was given full independence from the British, with the support of the United States, who wanted to create a strong Asian state to counter China's growing influence.