Excerpted From Historical Atlas of North America: Chapter 17 - The Socialist Revolution, ed. Daniel Kalinsky (1998, Doverton Press, New York)
By the Turn of the 20th Century, North America had grown immensely from even even 50 years prior. With over 100 million people, it had become the greatest industrial power in the world, the factories of the Great Lakes and Eastern Seaboard churning out goods for the new mass market living in growing cities. New farming techniques and settlements stretched far across the interior, turning it into one vast breadbasket for the hungry world. All these things had created enormous wealth, and in the gleaming new steel soarers in New York, Boston, Chicago, Toronto and other cities, the continent looked forwards to a bright and peaceful future after a turbulent century.
This was an illusion. Away from the city center, the continent roiled with conflict. Between nation and nation, race and race, class and class. Growth had given its bounty to a select few, the "gilded" men of the most democratic continent of the world. Astor, Carnegie, Esperson, Martin, Vanderbilt, the great mean of the era, wealthy beyond all measure. The wars of the last 40 years were not done either, the Second Confederate-Union War only seven years old. Mexico was still under the thumb of a foreign Emperor, and a French Colony in all but name. Radical union organizers - the Federation of America Labor, the Unified Workers of the World, the Tommys, and many others - sought to end the traditional capitalist system, although how much to replace and what with were greatly debated. The Confederacy still fought to keep its slaves down, and to reunify after the crisis of '93. New Orleans was as ever a monument to the inability of America to settle, with the British and French both increasingly tired of keeping it afloat.
The United States was clearly the major power of the Continent. It had become one of the greatest if not the greatest industrial power in the world, on-par with Britain and Germany. However, with the rise of President Hanna, and the Bourbon Crew, the USA teetered on the edge of complete tyranny. New Unionism as an ideology was heavily damaged, with Theodore Roosevelt banished to the Badlands and stringent new censorship rules placed on all publications. Pinks had become a common site on city streets, their unsleeping eye a symbol of fear from the lowest beggar to the highest Industrialist. The Democratic Party was the only party remaining, opposed only by the quiescent New Unionists and increasingly by radical socialists. Hardy, Debs, Parsons may have all been in jail, but many others still remained, organizing strikes, disrupting the capitalist system, fighting in massed battles with the Pinks. And in a small hovel in Chicago, five men signed the charter for the "American Marxist Party" and plotted revolution.
The Confederacy under President Braxton was finally quiet. Texas remained in the Confederation, if specially privileged; black slaves still worked in the fields; and the small elite could finally rest easy. The world economy was recovering, and if the old plantations were still making far less money then antebellum, they were at least free from Yankee Opression, and if the price of that was that even plantation owners need fear of Internal Security, then most could handle it. The South remained what it had been before '93 (if smaller), a poor corrupt non-democratic state obsessed with its Northern neighbor.
British North America had also grown rapidly, and now stretched from coast to coast, much of it united in the new "Dominion of Canada." Increasingly worried about its southern neighbors, it breathed easier knowing that the USA and the Confederacy seemed to have finally sheathed their swords. Canada's new found growth (Southern Ontario had blossomed into an industrial center) gave it increasing freedom as Britain became increasingly concerned with the growth of German power and licked it's defeat in the Boer Wars.
Guerilla activity continued in Mexico's mountains, although even without French soldiers patrolling the country, Augustin II remained safely ensconced in Mexico City. Mexico remained resentful of the Confederate betrayal in '93, but was too poor and too disunited to present any great power. French monopolies and trade treaties had stunted Mexico's economic growth, and Augustin II seemed in no hurry to upset his patrons in Paris.
The question of slavery loomed above this all. The Confederacy still kept millions of men in bondage, even if London protested regularly. The Confederate reinforcements that stretched across the border were enormous, miles of barbed wire and machine gun emplacements to prevent any black from even thinking of escape. The Union blacks, scattered across the country as the result of the Resettlement and Integration policies, were beginning to organize, led by Dubois, as radical anti-Confederate groups. New Orleans worried that its precious and limited freedom, granted by British and French protectors, would soon end, both London and Paris mentioning how expensive it was to maintain a force in New Orleans and too far from the Union to be saved should war begin.
This was the situation in North America in 1900, and up to 1905. Only a select few saw the truth: Revolution was coming, and it would change the course of American history.