The Unified States of South America (Spanish: Estados Unificados de Suramérica, Portuguese: Estados Unificados da Sulamérica) is one of the large, powerful superstate entities that dots the planet Earth. The USSA is unique in the fact that it's the oldest persisting nation on the planet, having been around several decades before the events of October 2077. Out of all the states, the USSA has changed government styles the most, being a representitive constitutional democracy from it's conception in 2052 until 2125, briefly a revisionist Mechanocracy from then until 2126, and a military dictatorship/authoritarian democracy from the end of the Canal War to the present. The USSA consists of the entirety of the South American continent (with the exception of the southern reaches, which is ruled by Ardavia), and is home to about a billion people.
Culture and Lifestyle
The USSA is the oldest, still-functional state on Earth, and the only one of its kind in the fact that it survived the Great War and subsequent restructure seen in other nations. It was founded as the "Valparaíso Pact" (Spanish and Portuguese: Pacto de Valparaíso, named after the city the pact was signed in) in 2052, unifying Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia into a political and military unity to protect their collective economic interest in the midst of the catastrophic global Resource Wars. By the time of the 2077 nuclear apocalypse, the entire South American continent had signed the pact, and it had begun referring to itself as the "Unified States of South America". At this time, the USSA was considered to be a global superpower, rivaling even the United States or China in many aspects. While the U.S and China were busy fighting and scrounging for the last of Earth's resources, the USSA made alliances and plans to outlast the crisis. A lucrative formation with the Greater African Republic was predicted by the political analysts of the time to make the USSA the most powerful and influential nation on Earth. However, with a scheduled negotiation set to begin on October 25th, 2077, it never happened, as the world's political structure was torn asunder with nuclear weapons two days' earlier.
The USSA barely held on in the aftermath of the exchange, and it would take years just to reestablish consistent contact with one end of it's federation to another. This showed itself in force, as for almost two years, the USSA's central government was almost completely unaware that they had lost almost a quarter of their land to an invading army commanded by the recently-formed Antarctican Commonwealth as a part of their War of Unification. It was only when the southern capitals of Buenos Aires and Santiago came under siege that the remnants of the USSA's once-formidable military moved into action. Fighting the Antarctic forces into a stalemate, a peace treaty was signed after five years of skirmishing. Not wishing to antagonize the powerful Antarctic Commonwealth while they continued to rebuild, the USSA ceded all territory they had lost to them south of the cities in 2086.
Humiliated by the loss, the USSA looked northward, hoping that expansion into central America and Mexico would rectify the grievous loss to the populace now that the nation's infrastructure and urban landscape had been somewhat revitalized. When scouts reached the Panama Canal in 2090, they had found an advanced city was being constructed around it, and it's citizens seemed to be protected by a structured, organized government and professional military force. It was revealed that this "city-state" was actually the southernmost-point of the New Frenco Empire, whom the USSA had been observing the radio communications of since it's conception a decade earlier.
Frustrated at the prospect of losing it's prominence by being sandwiched by two greater powers, the USSA engaged in a tense isolation with the outside world, focusing on refining it's scarred features rather than expanding. The USSA became responsible for some early technological advancements, such as terraformation. By 2110, the Amazon jungles were reinvigorated thanks to these technologies, and became a symbol of pride for the nation.
However, with word of the Soviet Union's successor state restoring Eastern communist power, the socialistic elements within the USSA became tired of isolation, and saw great potential within the Mechanocracy. This sentiment enjoyed great popularity in it's own right, leading to the formation of a minor party within the Congreso Federal based on a variant of the the Mechanocratic Ideology revised to fit South American principles of democracy and national pride; Partido por la Implementación de Mecanocracia (or "Party for the Implementation of Mechanocracy" in English; also known as the "Mechanocrats", the "PIM", or by their Portuguese name "Partido pela Implementação da Mecanocracia"). While initially unpopular with the vast majority, many humored the ideology of the "machine men" and attended pro-Mechanocracy rallies out of boredom. Using appeals to the nation's great past and derision of the wounded present, however, many were lured into the Mechanocrat camp. Government hardliners saw the growing Mechanocratic popularity as a threat, however, and decided to act. Seeing the ruling Partido Nacionalista-Progresista (English: Nationalist-Progressive Party, Portuguese: Partido Nacionalista-Progressista) as "too weak" to take action against the nuisance, extremists broke away and formed the Partido Unidad Federal (English: Federal Unity Party, Portuguese: Partido Unidade Federal; usually just called the "Nationalists"); a right-wing party espousing ideas of nationalism, protectionism and totalitarianism.
As the silent majority was hammered between the extremists on the left (Mechanocrats) and right (Nationalists), the two parties soon resorted to violence. The Nationalists formed a militant wing known as the Contras ("Contra" being the Spanish word for "counter"; meant as a "counter" to the Mechanocracy), and tasked them with rioting and attacking Mechanocrat rallies and intimidating Mechanocrat voters with violence at the polling places. In response, the Mechanocrats formed their own; the Cazadores (English: Hunters, Portuguese: Caçadores), to do much the same to the Nationalists.
By the early 2120s, the government was almost completely divided by the shift to extremism. The common citizen was often forced to submit to one of the parties, out of fear of either the Contras or Cazadores, depending on location. Guerilla warfare between the two militias were also common in the wilderness, and the ruling government had to cover up rumors of civil war. After word of the PIM reached the Mechanocracy, Russia began sending hundred of thousands of U.S dollars' worth of aid, along with political commendations. Under the table, Spetsnaz units were also sent to help train and equip the Cazadors, so that the Nationalists could finally be defeated and pave the way for Mechanocratic dominance in Latin America. Meanwhile, the Empire, seeking to halt Mechanocratic ideological influence so close to it's political sphere, did much the same with the Nationalists, and also sent Rangers and agents of the Imperial Intelligence Agency to train and outfit the Contras.
Hoping to tip the balance and gain full-on support from the Mechanocracy, the PIM launched a secretive campaign in 2123 to implant Cazador units over the Frenkish border, with a purpose to harass the government of Canal Town and perhaps even incite a revolution within the populace, many of whom had already rebelled during the Red Revolt. Theoretically, after weakening the Empire's southern border, Russia would be more inclined to directly aid the PIM in it's power struggle. However, after the IIA discovered this plot, the Cazadores were eventually intercepted and executed. Though not the direct cause for the Canal War, this is considered by most to be the tipping point. Despite the claims from the de jure government that the state itself was not responsible, the Frenkish saw this as an encroachment on their power, and blamed the government for failing to keep it's extremist elements in line; many demanded blood, and others saw this as a golden opportunity to prove the might of the (mostly untested) Imperial Military on a foreign target to aid in deterring the Mechanocracy of Russia.
With the threat of war fast approaching, the South American Armed Forces set up a formidable military barricade in the Darién Gap to protect against a potential first strike over land. Though the formation was purely for defensive purposes, the Empire saw it as an act of war, as the South American military crossed onto Frenkish soil (though it should be noted that the land between Canal Town and the Colombian border was never clearly defined). On March the Fifth, 2123, one day after the Blockade went up, the New Frenco Empire declared war on the Unified States of South America.