The Great British Empire (commonly known as 'Britain' or 'the empire') is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. It spans an archipelago including Great Britain, the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. The empire has no land borders, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, and the Irish Sea. The Great British Empire is a constitutional empire and unitary state. It is a country consisting of five states: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Southern Ireland. It is governed by a parliamentary system with its seat of government in the capital city of London. There are five devolved national administrations, with varying powers in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Dublin, the respective capitals of Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England and Southern Ireland. There are three Crown Dependencies and fourteen overseas territories that are included as part of the empire. These territories are remnants of the 1st British Empire, which at its height in 1922 encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface, the largest empire in history. As a result, British influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former territories.
The Empire is a highly developed country, with the world's sixth largest economy by nominal GDP and eighth largest economy by purchasing power parity. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the economic and social cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs. The Great British Empire nevertheless remains a great power with leading economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state while its military expenditure ranks third in the world. It is a Member State of the European Union, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and a member of the Commonwealth of Sovereign Nations
The name Britain descends from the Latin name for Britain, Brittania or Brittānia, the land of the Britons. Old French Bretaigne (whence also Modern French Bretagne) and Middle English Bretayne, авBreteyne. The French form replaced the Old English Breoton, Breoten, Bryten, Breten (also Breoton-lond, Breten-lond). Britannia was used by the Romans from the 1st century BC for the British Isles taken together. It is derived from the travel writings of the ancient Greek Pytheas around 320 BC, which described various islands in the North Atlantic as far North as Thule (probably Iceland).
Derivation of "Great"Edit
After the Old English period, Britain was used as a historical term only. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical Historia Regum Britanniae (c. 1136) refers to the island of Great Britain as Britannia major ("Greater Britain"), to distinguish it from Britannia minor ("Lesser Britain"), the continental region which approximates to modern Brittany. The term "Great Britain" was first used officially in 1474, in the instrument drawing up the proposal for a marriage between Cecily the daughter of Edward IV of England , and James the son of James III of Scotland, which described it as "this Nobill Isle, callit Gret Britanee." It was used again in 1604, when King James VI and I, in a deliberate attempt to impose a term which would unite his double inheritance of the kingdoms of Scotland and England, proclaimed his assumption of the throne in the style "King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland ..."
The territory of Great Britain was inhabited primarily by Celts prior to Roman occupation. They lived as tiny kingdoms, usually spanning about 100 sq. miles. However, when the Romans arrived, everything changed. Roman organisation, architecture and culture had a deep, long lasting impact upon the islands. For 300 years the Romans remained, building cities and forts before pressure from Germanic tribes attacking from across the Rhine forced them to leave. When the Romans left the British isles entered a new dark age, being the victim of raiding and pillaging by Angles, Saxons and Jutes. By 800AD England was a divided nation, divided into roughly a dozen kingdoms. However, in the face of Viking attacks England was united. In 1066 England was conquered by William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy. This ushered in a new era for the British Isles. The Normans built castles and increased England Status in the eyes of Europe. It was the last time Britain was invaded and conquered by a foreign power. Over the next 300 years England would invade Ireland, Scotland and Wales, fight numerous wars with France and fight in several crusades.
Age of EmpireEdit
In 1534 a new form of Christianity reached the British Isles, Protestantism. Henry VIII converted to this new faith and created the Church of England to do what Rome had done previously, much to the discord of Catholic Spain. When Elizabeth I took the throne, the Spanish plotted to assassinate her and replace her with the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots. When this failed, the Spanish built a huge fleet to invade England which was repelled in 1588. Over the next century, England competed with the Dutch for control of trade and faced a number of civil wars. By 1707 England joined with Scotland and created Great Britain. Colonies were set up around the world in places like India, Africa and America. Great Britain partook in the Spanish war of succession and beat out its rivals to become the greatest power on earth. No nation was as prosperous or as powerful as the British. However, unrest in the thirteen colonies led to the American War of Independence. Although the British won the majority of battles, Spanish, French and Dutch support for the rebels and the blockade which they set up left Britain with no other choice than to surrender the colonies. However, by the turn of the 19th Century the Empire had rebounded and was faced with the threat of Revolutionary France. Soon a man called Napoleon Bonaparte rose to power and began the Napoleonic Wars. This crisis lead to the Creation of the United Kingdom. Although long lasting and turbulent, via battles such as the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Waterloo eventually Napoleon was beaten, and the Pax Brittannia began. The United Kingdom remained unchallenged, as did the empire for over 100 years, leading the world in technology and military power. Their wealth was second to none and the scale of their empire was unmatched. Then in 1914 the Great war began, pitting Great Britain and its Allies against the Central Powers. Heavy losses on both sides in a war of attrition were taken but in the end, Britain emerged victorious. The Empire grew to new heights, becoming the largest empire in history with the additions of German and Ottoman colonies. Southern Ireland broke away from the United Kingdom and so the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Cracks were forming in the Empire.
Decline of EmpireEdit
Although many in Britain warned of the dangers of Adolf Hitler's Germany, including Winston Churchill, when the time came for war for a second time, Britain and its ally France were only partially prepared. Within two years France was had surrendered and the entire Government was replaced with an Emergency War Cabinet was formed. The new government was led by Winston Churchill, who guided the United Kingdom through the darkest days of the war to until final victory in 1945. By this time however, the empire had given its all, and was crippled beyond repair. Debt had become too much to manage and Britain could no longer afford to to keep its empire. More and more territories demanded independence and Britain had no other choice than to give them it. The empire shrunk rapidly and by 1980 there were only a few outlying island territories and landmasses that remained in British hands. Britain successfully fought off the Argentinians in the 1982 Falklands War, stopping the downward slide of the country on the world stage. However, the public no longer wanted to be a world class power. Following Margaret Thatcher's defeat in 1983 to Labour, the British Nuclear arsenal was decommissioned. In 1988 the world plunged into chaos. A nuclear war broke out between the United States and the USSR. The UK declared neutrality and narrowly avoided the conflict.
The collapse of the United States had adverse effects on the UK, as did the crippling fallout which devastated farming. This in its turn had a knock-on effect on the British economy, and mass riots broke out. The government quickly collapsed and chaos overran the country. The situation turned by 1992. From the madness of the violence came Field Marshal K. Smith, who declared Marshall law on 24 June 1992. Forced mandatory elections were called and the Field Marshall gave himself the title of Emperor of Great Britain. The right-wing Norsefire party, created in 1990 by Adam Sutler, united with the surviving big companies and businesses, giving them the appearance of wealth and stability. Whereas the other parties could offer no way out of the anarchy they had slipped into, Norsefire promised to 'Restore order to chaos'. Several terrorist attacks using biological weapons finally pushed the vast majority of the population to vote for Norsefire. In the election Norsefire won a landslide victory with just under 90% of the votes. Within 7 months the country returned to pre-war standards.
The New EmpireEdit
With Britain returning to normality, both the Emperor and the High Chancellor expressed interest in reincorporating Ireland into the union. In the 5 years of chaos Northern Ireland had been in anarchy, ruled by respective paramilitaries. When Britain reasserted the Stormont government many in Northern Ireland were overjoyed that the the period called 'the troubles' had ended. Some, however opposed this such as the IRA and the Allied States of Ireland. The ASI funded the IRA in a new campaign of violence and terrorism against the re-established state of Northern Ireland. Relations continued to decline until Shankill Road bombing of 23 October 1993. It was at this point that Adam Sutler asked the Emperors permission for a declaration of war on the ASI and an invasion. On the 25th permission was granted and war was declared. Within 3 weeks the Kingdom of Connaught had fallen and the Republic of Lienster was left only with Wexford and parts of Dublin. Within another 6 weeks the Allied states surrendered unconditionally. Plans were drawn up to set up an Irish Government under British rule on the same model as the national sub-Parliaments in the empire. On the 28th December 1993 Ireland's status was changed from territory to member of the United Kingdom.
Over the next 10 years the newly anointed Great British Empire rebuilt and repaired its military, infrastructure and public facilities. Money was pumped into hospitals, schools, roads, railways, and farms. Soon Britain was the envy of the World, building great skyscrapers and becoming a Carbon neutral nation. Europe was also experiencing a boom. Nations like Italy and Germany doubled in size and power and City states like Belgium were absorbed by the larger nations. However food was still a problem and fishing in the North Atlantic was becoming increasingly difficult.
The Second Icelandic Cod WarEdit
By 2008 the situation was at critical. Radiation had killed a large percentage of fish in the North Atlantic. Iceland, being almost totally reliant on fishing became more aggressive. Icelandic fishing trawlers actively rammed other nations ships in disputes over fishing rights. The Empire, being Iceland's closest neighbour felt the boar the full brunt of this. In response, British Destroyers were sent up and British fishing trawlers were routinely given armour upgrades by the government. The official government advise was "Ram them first!". This did not stop the Icelandic people, who began to use their small navy to attack Britain's fishing fleet. Adam Sutler declared this an act of war and sent the Grand fleet to blockade Iceland's ports and cities. The RAF swept over Reykjavik, bombing the shipyards, docks and government buildings. Iceland began to starve. Emperor Smith made a declaration stating that "The Icelandic people have two choices. To Perish or to survive. To surrender or starve. There will be no compromise!". On 28 August Iceland chose to survive. They surrendered to the Great British Empire. The Empire formed the Republic of Katurn in the place of Iceland and appointed the Torchwood Institute as it's government.
Fall of the UNEdit
The UN had been under tremendous strain since 1988. It had to relocate from New York to Paris and the world had largely ignored it since then. However, in 2010 it expanded it's jurisdiction to it's member's military leaving many distraught. Some in the newly formed 'United Nations High Command' abused their power, using it for their own personal reasons. Some pushed for religious prosecution. Many of these nations joined together to get the UNHC to move in their direction. In the end this corruption ate to the very heart of the organisation. It was dissolved as was the rest of the UN on the 24th October 2010.
Commonwealth of Sovereign NationsEdit
Following the dissolution of the UN the Empire sought to be closer to the old empire in the form of the Commonwealth. Trade increased with these nations, improving the Empires economy greatly and allowing for increased development. Another block was on the rise however, the League. On the 22nd January 2011 the 2 blocks collided. The League invaded many nations in the Commonwealth including Great Britain itself. Invading through Scotland, British forces were pushed back. However, the war took a decisive turn after the Imperial Army formed a defensive line at Hadrian's wall. Great Britain began to gain the upper hand and began the liberation of Scotland. Tough resistance slowed the British advance but never the less Edinburgh was liberated on the 24th February. In other theatres the war was going better. The League had been decimated in South Africa and Australia and was in full retreat in India. On 1 March the League agreed to terms of surrender. Massive reparations were to be paid to the Great British Empire by member states of the League.
The Empire had been crippled by the month of war. It's trade agreements lay in tatters, many nations that it had been trading with had simply ceased to exist. The Commonwealth was at an all time low. It was at this point that the Empire decided it was time it took a leading role in the Commonwealth, with the ultimate objective being having a British Commander in the Secretary of Defence position. During the campaign for this position, Britain entered a new boom, with ever increasing levels of technology and infrastructure pushing it ahead of the competition economically and militarily. The British people had never been so well off.
The Commonwealth however had not healed since the war. Great divisions had formed with those wanting greater autonomy of nations on one side, and those who believed that the level of commonwealth power over it's member states should be increase, or be kept at their current levels at the very least. The British government, still attempting to gain enough influence to gain the Secretary of Defence position, supported the Pro-CSN Government side. The argument inflamed and grew larger by the day until on August 5 a large section of the Commonwealth seceded and formed a new international block called Baratheon. Both the Emperor and the Chancellor condemned the new block, as did many other nations including the Republic of Katurn. CSN had taken yet another hit.
Following the dispute, the Emperor suggested a set of war games to test the readiness of the commonwealth against the League, who appeared to be building back up to strike at the Commonwealth of Sovereign Nations.