the past century
The last century was the apex of the West’s power. The Federated States of Columbia surpassed the nations of Constinopa and ended the century as the dominant power in the world. The past century was punctuated by a decade long world war, a cold war pitting the west against the communists, the abrupt end of colonialism and rise of new those former colonies to new economies.
The Great War
The century before ended with the rise of the constinopan empires. Differences in political and cultural beliefs fed into competition for resources and erupted into a world war. Battles that started on horseback in colonial backwaters entrenched in the ancient fields of constinaopa and ended as the war machine ground great cities to ash.
The war went on for 15 years and changed everything. Technology advanced and produced mechanized weapons and whole new fields of science, creating the first superpowered assets. Throughout the war, nations collapsed and empires re-aligned. The great powers of constinopa ruined themselves upon each other and their significance, on the world stage, would never return. In a decade their colonies were liberated and their economies only rebuilt by the new powers: the FSC and the communists.
Finally, the war produced cruelty and inhumanity that fundamentally changed western thought. Industrial slaughter on the battlefields, civilian targets and the near genocide of entire tribes of constinaopians left the survivors to question what humanity was and what it can even hope to achieve. Some found the uncertainty horrifying but others found them liberating.
The Cold War
The cold war truly began during the closing of the great war. Though allies in the war, the Federation of Columbia and the Comintern republic of Ruthemia foresaw their rivalry and began to position themselves for the end of the war. Most actions were covert and utilized the newfound weapons that the great war had produced: special operations, information technology and super-powered assets.
Mutually assured destruction kept the Columbians and Ruthenians from direct conflict but the cold war played out through 25 years of endless client wars and black operations. The rapid innovation of the great war continued as each empire sought to flank the other.
For all the military posturing of the cold war it was soft power that decided its outcome. Those that lived behind the iron curtain abandoned communism for the fruits of the free market: blue jeans, pop music and television. They saw no profit from the rivalry with the west. Plunderers took the organs of the Ruthemian empire and made them private industry. The true believers of the Comintern movement, bitter and dejected, took the lesson to heart. Generals took the cream of their armies went into business for themselves. Their is no shortage for their services.
The Turn of the Century
In the Federation of Columbia the turn of the century came with great celebration and the expected dominance of another century. In the newly-freed emerging economies, like Hanguo and Rjapur, the new century was to bring new prosperity. In Constinopa, the new century was to be a new age of political and economic unity.
In other places, where the past century brought only brutality and neglect, the new century would be when former subjects become masters.