->''What are you talking about? America's not going to be destroyed.''
->''Never? [[AncientRome Rome]] was destroyed, [[AncientGreece Greece]] was destroyed, Persia was destroyed, Spain was destroyed. All great countries are destroyed. Why not yours? How much longer do you think your own country will last? Forever?''
-->-- '''''Literature/CatchTwentyTwo'''''

A common way to create a CrapsackWorld setting is to have the United States fall so much that it becomes much like a third world nation, with a collapsed economy, decaying infrastructure, fallen or incredibly corrupt government, and so on. Perhaps a new CivilWar [[DividedStatesOfAmerica has left the nation battered and weak; only a shell of its former self,]] or possibly economic collapse due to poor management, lack of an important resource, such as [[PostPeakOil oil]], food, or water, or because of the rise of another foreign power has led to a weak US. An [[InvadedStatesOfAmerica invasion]] by a foreign power has either conquered part of or all of the United States, or weakened it severely. Or even a natural disaster of some sort has happened.

In a worst case scenario, it is even possible for the nation to cease to exist as we know it, either being swept into [[AnarchyIsChaos anarchy]], [[DividedStatesOfAmerica broken up into new nation states]], or the area as a whole being replaced by a new power. If the term "The Former United States" is said, this most likely happened.

Expect to see major cities from coast to coast become [[WretchedHive massive slums]], with the poor and homeless roaming the streets, sometimes with the tarnished remains of [[ProductPlacement familiar]] or [[BlandNameProduct similar]] staple American businesses. What remains of the wealthy will be living in [[UrbanSegregation fortified enclaves,]] separated from the common rabble, and the middle class will become all but extinct. Shanty towns become a common sight, and the only form of "reliable" rule is from organized criminal organizations who will jump on the opportunity to take advantage of the desperate situation or [[MegaCorp large corporations]] who can now operate above the law thanks to a weakened, corrupt, and/or apathetic government.

What is left of the government (if one even still exists) will be immensely ineffective and corrupt, with greasy politicians trying to hold onto power, or gain power by proposing solutions to regain the nation's once former glory and by claiming that [[UsefulNotes/HerbertHoover prosperity is right around the corner,]] or by arrogantly still believing (or trying to fool the populace) that the nation is still strong, despite obvious evidence to the contrary.

The work has a huge potential to become {{Anvilicious}} if the creator is trying to preach what will happen if the RealLife United States does or doesn't do X, Y and/or Z, or as a way to create a fictional America led by political strawmen whose political views are opposed to the creator's.

Can usually, but not always, go hand in hand with DividedStatesOfAmerica, OppressiveStatesOfAmerica, and/or InvadedStatesOfAmerica. Contrast with ExpandedStatesOfAmerica, although it is also possible for the US to join with Canada and/or Mexico not because it is empowered, but because it is so weak that it needs to.

Settings in which either {{Japan|TakesOverTheWorld}} or ChinaTakesOverTheWorld will often include this. Contrast AmericaTakesOverTheWorld.

%% '''NOTE''': In the case of a new nation(s) taking the United States' place, it must be recognizable as having descent from it, either with explicit shared cultural mores and practices, people who still remember the United States, and/or the successor nation actively trying to recapture the US, or directly referencing its influence. '''A new nation whose only connection to the US is that it occupies North America is not covered.''' For example, Panem in the Hunger Games wouldn't count, since it has no cultural or political connection to the US. The only thing Panem and the US share is the landmass on which they exist.

%% Also, the US becoming tyrannical is not enough to be an entry. '''It must also be weakened in some way.''' While the US losing democracy can occur, it is not always the case.

%% '''To prevent flame wars, limit RealLife examples to historical situations that most historians agree was a low point in American history, [[RuleofCautiousEditingJudgment this is not a place to showcase your dislike of certain cultural beliefs, recent politicians, political parties or political policies.]]'''
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* A [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTSQozWP-rM controversial 2010 ad]] ran by a conservative financial watchdog group showed the United States as a pawn of [[ChinaTakesOverTHeWorld China]] in the year 2030, thanks to a botched financial policy.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiBCRQL58_k&feature=player_embedded This]] ad from 1986, set in 2017, in which the younger generation is putting the older generation on trial for the United States' crushing deficit.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'' spin off ''Anime/HighlanderTheSearchForVengeance'' is mainly set in the distant future where the world has gone to [[CrapsackWorld crap]]. America itself has been split up into city states and if [[BigApplesauce New York]] is anything to go by; they're run by crazed corporations with their own personal armies. Throughout the film we see other great empires/countries fall so it's kinda a running theme.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* The setting of the BronzeAge MarvelComics version of ''[=Deathlok=]'' was a future United States where [[ANuclearError a limited nuclear war]] has left the country devastated, with roaming gangs and independent groups vying for control with factions and remnants of the CIA and the military.
* In the DCComics series ''[[ComicBook/JonahHex Hex]]'', set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture (from the readers' perspective), the United States seems to have fragmented into various locales ruled by warlords or, in the case of UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, by a successor to Franchise/{{Batman}}.
* Something like this is also the result of the supervillains' takeover in the ''{{Wolverine}}'' story OldManLogan. The United States is divided into the warring fiefdoms of various major Marvel villains, so that, for example, the Red Skull controls what used to be the Eastern Seaboard.
* The America of ''Comicbook/AmericanFlagg'' is falling apart from a variety of internal and external enemies (including a neo-Nazi revolution), natural and unnatural disasters, and simultaneously powerful and neglectful rule by [[MegaCorp The Plex]].
* In ''Comicbook/JudgeDredd'', America has collapsed into four independent {{mega cit|y}}ies based around New York and Washington, Los Angeles, Texas, and Las Vegas, each of which is a fascist PoliceState, separated by vast areas of lawless, radioactive wasteland.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Zigzagged in ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheReds''. After the events of ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals Zero Hour]]'', the US went into isolation, which wrecked its economy. Over the next 20 years, however, the US was able to recover, making its triumphant return by becoming TheCavalry to the ECA in its war with Russia.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/SoylentGreen''
* ''TheLastChase''
* Implied in the Film version of ''Film/VForVendetta'', which opens with Lewis Prothero claiming the 'Ulcered Sphincter of Arse-erica' has become 'the world's biggest leper colony' and its government is desperately petitioning the British government to supply it with humanitarian aid and medical supplies.
** Considering [[PropagandaMachine what the guy does for a living]], however, this information should probably be taken with [[UnreliableNarrator a large grain of salt.]] America ''is'' however in the middle of a second civil war, so there is apparently ''some'' truth to it.
* ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'' and ''Film/EscapeFromLA'' feature a war-ravaged USA under a dictatorship in all but name, and former great cities used as penal colonies.
** Not only that, but the US military strength is not what it used to be, considering that an invasion by several South American nations is seen as a real threat, and the only way to stop it is to use a superweapon.
* ''Film/{{Americathon}}'' depicts an energy-starved bankrupt USA.
* ''Film/TheRunningMan'': The world's economy is in shambles, along with the United States, which has become a police state. In [[Literature/TheRunningMan the book it was based on however, it's even worse,]] being a polluted {{Cyberpunk}} dystopia where everyone is kept docile through the use of BloodSport BreadAndCircuses TV and the poor are ridiculously, horribly poor.
* ''Film/DeathRace2000'': A financial crisis and military coup have devastated the US, turning it into a police state.
** The [[Film/DeathRace remake also features this]] with a financial collapse in 2012.
* ''Film/{{Idiocracy}}'': In someways played here. The United States has become an idiotic dumbed-down society, ruined by years of mindless consumerism and pop culture, although it is PlayedForLaughs rather than drama, and the real focus is on the downfall of humanity.
** Society ''is'' about to fall, though. There's not enough food, and a huge dustbowl is messing up much of the country. Turns out the cause is [[spoiler:the use of a (salty) sports drink to water crops]].
* In ''Film/TheDayAfterTomorrow'', the US becomes so endangered by a climate change superstorm bringing temperatures down that Americans had to emigrate to Mexico. There was even a speech by the Vice President thanking Mexico for their hospitality.
* The ''[[Film/RedDawn2012 Red Dawn]]'' remake has the US taken over by UsefulNotes/NorthKoreansWithNodongs (originally meant to be UsefulNotes/ChineseWithChopperSupport but re-dubbed after filming to let the film be shown in China) using some sort of EMP weapon to shut down America's defenses.
* ''BarbWire'' is a blatant ''{{Casablanca}}'' rip-off set in a dystopian future where continuous wars have turned the US into a third-world dictatorship with obvious Nazi overtones. It's telling when the protagonist demands that she be paid for the job in ''Canadian'' dollars, meaning American dollars aren't worth much, and everyone is trying to emigrate to Canada.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Interactive Fiction]]
* ''VideoGame/AMindForeverVoyaging'' depicts a world where the US is in danger of becoming this. The player experiences several simulations of a possible future, each one set 10 years after the previous one. The situation worsens with each simulation, as the economy collapses, law enforcement becomes more brutal and corrupt, a border security force frequently searches homes (and becomes less apologetic and more harsh about it in each period), racism and religious intolerance become more overt, and dusk to dawn curfews are enforced. In the final simulation, the last vestiges of authority have collapsed, and anarchy ensues with the city streets now home to violent gangs and wild dogs killing weaker people for food. Naturally, the player's goal is to prevent these possible futures from coming to pass.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/SnowCrash'', America is just a stub-state, existing in the cracks between independent corporate domains.
* ''Literature/TheManInTheHighCastle'', by Creator/PhilipKDick. America loses UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo and is divvied up by the Axis powers.
* ''Literature/SprawlTrilogy''. Because of Gibson's love of the incredibly vague description, it's not certain, but the U.S Government has been destroyed and most of the U.S outside the Sprawl is implied to be very, very unpleasant.
* In ''Literature/ParableOfTheSower'' the United States has collapsed into a dystopia filled with gangs, prostitution and slavery. (It's set in a TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture California)
* In Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka's ''Literature/{{Warday}}'', the US and USSR engage in a limited nuclear exchange; years later, the US is a third world nation slowly balkanizing into separate countries.
* In the AlternateHistory novel ''Literature/BringTheJubilee'' by Ward Moore, the US is defeated by the Confederate States of America in the civil war and subsequently spirals into poverty and political corruption.
* KurtVonnegut's ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'' has the United States of the future bombed "by angry Chinamen" and [[BalkanizeMe Balkanized]] into a number of heavily-militarized zones so as not to be a threat to anyone.
* ''Literature/TheRunningMan'': The world's economy is in shambles, along with the United States, which has become a police state.
* ''Literature/TheHandmaidsTale'': The Republic of Gilead that replaced the United States roughly a few decades before after an unknown disaster, a terrorist attack and military coup. For all intents and purposes, it is the United States, just under a totalitarian theocratic society.
* ''Literature/HouseOfTheScorpion'': Illegal immigrants escape not only to the US by the time the book takes place, but into Aztlán (what Mexico is called by the time of the book) as well. It is never detailed how bad the US is, but it is assumed it is pretty bad if people are justifying risking everything to escape into ''Aztlán''.
* Creator/KimNewman and Brain Craig's ''Literature/DarkFuture'' novels for Creator/GamesWorkshop greatly expanded on the base concept of a crapsack US of A, piling economic collapse on top of a reduction in the President's status from Most Powerful Man In The World to somewhere around 138th Most Powerful Man In The World.
* ''[[Literature/JulianComstock Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America]]'' is set in a dystopian future where, after a series of dramatic setbacks, the United States has slid backwards into a near-Third World country. Not only technologically, but ''culturally'' as well, meaning things like Slavery have cropped up again.
* Many modern Russian sci-fi writers tend to be anti-American and will gladly include at least a mention of America that has fallen on hard times, had another Civil War, or [[spoiler:[[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking has become all-black]]]]. Naturally, the glorious Mother Russia rises again.
* ''In The Presence of Mine Enemies'' features a globe-girdling German Empire consisting of the Reich proper, satellite states in Europe, and Occupied North and South America. The USA in particular was nuked, blasting Washington, DC off the map. The new capital is in Omaha, and the US dollar is practically worthless.
* Mack Maloney's ''Wingman'' series of modern pulp novels takes place in a world where World War III led to the United States soundly beating the Soviet Union in Europe, only for the traitorous Vice President to lower the missile defenses and lead to a nuking of the United States. The entire Midwest is a mostly deserted radioactive wasteland, and at the time the series begins the nation has collapsed into warring states and city-states and SkyPirates. A major part of the series involves the protagonist and his military friends gradually rebuilding America and fighting the remnants of the USSR.
* In Brendan [=DuBois=]' alternate history novel ''Resurrection Day'', the United States has fallen on hard times ten years after the Cuban Missiles Crisis turned the Cold War hot. Washington, New York, South Florida, Omaha, and dozens of old SAC bases around the country are radioactive craters. A police state rules what's left, and people are subject to rationing, curfews, censorship, travel restrictions, and being shipped off to do decontamination work in the restricted zones if they get out of line. The nation is reliant on humanitarian and food aid from the UK, and the rest of the world treats the country as a pariah, since as bad as the US got, the Soviet Union fared far, far worse in the exchange.
* Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheLongWalk'' is set in another alternate history where the US is under military dictatorship. Exactly what form, and how things got to this point are left vague; there are a couple of comments indicating that World War II dragged out much longer in this reality.
* JohnBirmingham's ''WithoutWarning'' series is focused on what happens when a NegativeSpaceWedgie known as the Wave suddenly "removes" most of the population of the US, effectively removing the world's only remaining superpower on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The second novel in the series is even called ''After America''.
* In the beginning of ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'', it's a moderately decadent United States that merely [[DownplayedTrope downplays this trope]]. The events of the book involve the society of the United States undergoing a degeneration into extreme economic collapse, both because of the actions of the looters in the government, as well as the ways in which John Galt and the strikers react to these actions.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''DarkAngel'': After the denotation of an EMP device by terrorist groups in 2009, the United States is barely more than a third world nation.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E11TurnLeft "Turn Left"]] suggests very strongly that this happens to the U.S. after the Adipose kill a large portion of its population. The fragmentation is used to end a HopeSpot, since the UK, beset by other alien invaders, was looking to America for much-needed aid.
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': The BadFuture seen in the "Epilogue" episodes shows a United States that, like much of the world, has fallen into chaos due to [[spoiler: Rossum -- or someone else -- weaponizing the MindWipe technology from the Dollhouses.]]
* ''The Fire Next Time'': This 1993 TV movie has global warming turn the USA into a nation of climate refugees seeking entry into Canada.
* ''Series/{{Jericho}}'': The United States has been nuked to hell and back, and has been split into three nations, the Allied States of America, the United States of America, and an independent Texas.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'':
** 15 years after the blackout, all American cities are ruined {{Wretched Hive}}s, and the rest of the country has been divided up between militant warlords.
** At least only the Monroe Republic -- the warlord state the series so far takes place in -- has been confirmed to be a warlord state. The other republics haven't even been mentioned by name, let alone what governmental structure they've adopted).
** [[http://revolutionison.blogspot.com/p/map.html This map]] (shown in [[Recap/RevolutionS1E5SoulTrain episode 5]]) gives an idea of the size, shape and names of the major powers in what used to be the United States, some of which, including the Monroe Republic, stretch into what used to be Canada and/or Mexico.
** In addition, "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E14TheNightTheLightsWentOutInGeorgia The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia]]" show that the Georgia Federation is a much nicer place to live, with wealth, commerce, and international trade. Then the episodes "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E15Home Home]]", "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E16TheLoveBoat The Love Boat]]", and "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E17TheLongestDay The Longest Day]]" show that the people of the Plains Nation are living very much like the Plains Indians (without the racist implications), and that the friendliness depends on which tribes you encounter.
* ''Series/{{Sliders}}'': Happened in a few episodes, the pilot in particular showed that this happened after the US lost the Cold War.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Creator/GamesWorkshop's now-defunct TabletopGame/DarkFuture had an [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture America of the mid-90s]] wracked by environmental damage, essentially owned by Japanese {{megacorp}} [=GenTech=] in which the cities were divided into Policed Zones and No-Go Ghettos and most of the Southern States were effectively independent of Washington.
* This is basically the state of the UCAS (United Canadian and American States) in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}''. It's a standard {{Cyberpunk}} dystopia, with much of the original U.S. lost to the Native American nations, extensive MegaCorp influence, and so on.
* This is the end result of the ''OGRE'' universe, though to be fair, [[spoiler: the entire rest of the world goes first.]]
* The 80s action-inspired free game ''[[http://livresdelours.blogspot.com/p/in-english.html The Hard Way]]'' features an America much like the one from ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'', with MICOM[[note]]'''M'''ilitary-'''I'''ndustrial '''COM'''plex[[/note]] and the Yuppies controlling everything, Manhattan being turned into a state penitentiary, political dissent being considered treason under the "[[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Freedom Act]]," HOMSEC goons blackbagging people at night and sending them to FEMA camps, Chinese-Americans being interned because of the current war against China, survivalists, death cults and racial supremacists thriving outside the big cities; and everyone with slave wages, potato chips and TV sets -- basically a corporate-fascist America nightmare. All this in the backdrop of a three-way conflict between the US, the Chinese and the Soviet Union for the last remaining natural resources, with the [[CrapsackWorld rest of the world not being much better than America]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' has a time-travel supplement that describes an alternate timeline where Germany has won World War II and made the U.S. a police state under its influence after annihilating a few cities to show who's the boss.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Dystopia}}'': The United States in the backstory began a downward spiral as its currency collapsed as more and more nations switched over to other reserve currencies. By the time of the game, it no longer exists, now broken up into several different nations, the most powerful being the United Dominion of Canada.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'': The United States is in a what is the worst economical state it has ever been in its history, as implied by a conversation between two French civilians. The Grey Death has hit the nation hard, the majority of civilians encountered are homeless, many citizens are in active revolt, parts of Texas have been [[MexicoCalledTheyWantTexasBack conquered by the Russo-Mexican alliance,]] and the backstory explains the United States has been in the gutter ever since a massive earthquake sank a good chunk of the West Coast twenty years before the game starts, which along with new gun control legislation about twelve years afterwards, led to a [[DividedStatesOfAmerica second civil war]]. News articles read show that politicians still act like the nation is a superpower, but this is no obviously longer the case, with that honor now taken by [[ChinaTakesOverTheWorld China.]]
* ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'': Not as bad as the original game, but it is on its way there. News articles and books read mention that the economy for the United States has taken a turn for the worse, and secessionism, cities and states declaring or demanding more autonomous rule and internal fighting is starting to become a political issue. An e-book mentions that Canada is starting to become the place to be in North America.
** By the look of things, China is already in the lead by this point. Just look at Hengsha, an enormous two-tiered city.
* ''VideoGame/{{Assassins Creed|I}}'': An email in the first game reads about a border conflict between Mexican soldiers and Americans trying to escape into Mexico. [[spoiler: Later revealed to be hoax emails planted by a resistance group.]]
* ''{{Homefront}}'': Even before the Korean invasion, the United States was a mess, with gas prices skyrocketing, and the nation's states threatening to go to war with each other. Both Canada and Mexico closed their borders in order to stem the wave of refugees flooding in.
* ''VideoGame/ShatteredUnion'': Washington DC was destroyed by a nuclear attack killing everyone in the federal government, and the US had been divided into 6 factions, all plus the European Union vying to reunify the country in their terms.
** Not to mention Russia "taking back" Alaska.
** The [[AllInTheManual manual]] implies that the country was already in a downward spiral. The President effectively disqualifies all potential opponents and "wins" his re-election. The resulting riots on the West Coast cause the President to declare martial law and send in the military to put them down. Domestic terrorism is on the rise, resulting in the above-mentioned nuking. However, [[spoiler:it's revealed close to the end of the game that the whole thing was deliberately set up by the Russian President to cripple the US]].
** Interestingly, your actions in the game will reflect whether or not you will restore the nation to its former glory or turn it into a dictatorship with many cities nuked into rubble. Essentially, if you avoid damaging cities, you're good. If you frequently damage cities and/or use nukes, you're bad.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'' is set ten years in the wake of a successful attack on the United States that kills 27 million Americans and leaves the nation in shambles. Industry is all but destroyed, cities are decaying, and the government is unable to field a proper military, leading to the ones responsible for the attack (a collaboration of various South American nations led by Venezuela) able to stage an invasion of the country and occupy the American Southwest. The "Ghosts" are a collection of individuals who worked in special operations prior to the assault and now fight to defend the remnants of their broken nation from its enemies.
* Not explicitly stated, but implied in order for the settings of open-world crime simulators like GrandTheftAuto and SaintsRow to exist. Both feature largely autonomous city-states run by criminal warlords with military-grade firepower fighting against systematically-corrupt and highly-militarized police forces, while the political leaders are even more cartoonishly corrupt than they are in real-life, approaching an odd mix between post-colapse former Soviet states and war-torn African nations.
* The Nazis TakeOverTheWorld in ''VideoGame/WolfensteinTheNewOrder'' and that includes America, topped off by dropping an [[NukeEm atomic bomb]] [[BigApplesauce on New York City.]] The rest of the country surrenders shortly after.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', Uncle Sam often appears in strips depicting this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar: The costliest war the US has fought - in relative monetary terms and in both relative and absolute numbers of casualties - in addition to actually being on ''US soil'' (the USA has waged most of its wars overseas). The US is noteworthy for having very little bad blood around despite its frequent - low-cost - wars, but the Civil and Revolutionary wars are notable exceptions to this rule as they left the country (somewhat) impoverished and exhausted. The Civil War remains a sore topic in the 'South' to this day.
* Frequently a DiscussedTrope in US election campaign ads, or by anyone dissatisfied with the state of the country. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement Let's leave it at that.]]
[[/folder]]

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