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Literature / Reds!

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Reds! is an series featuring Communist America. The series is divided into multiple timeline arcs. The first, from which the series name is derived, is titled Reds! A Revolutionary Timeline, and focuses on the events leading up to a socialist revolution in the United States during The Great Depression. The second, A Red Dawn, chronicles the early development of the new Union of American Socialist Republics (henceforth referred as United Republics), and the alternate World War II.

The first depicts an alternate history in which President William McKinley was not assassinated, and in the resulting political climate (which marginalized Progressive reformers due to Theodore Roosevelt never becoming president), socialism becomes much more popular in the United States (additionally, several important schisms that occurred in the American socialist movement in our timeline did not occur in this one). After a much more brutal World War One (made more brutal, ironically, by the well-meaning attempts of internationalists like William Howard Taft to build stable international alliances), the American populace is radicalized and heavily divided, a powder keg ready to explode, until the Great Depression sparks a revolution in the United States.


The story has underwent various rewrites throughout its publishing history, along with Retcons and Adaptational Expansion to fill in the empty lore.

  • The Original Version:
    • Reds: A Revolutionary Timeline (discontinued): The original thread. Describes the rise of the Communist Workers' Party and the revolution itself.
    • Red Dawn: American Revolution and Rebirth (discontinued): A thread covering the historical period between the Second American Revolution to initially the end of the alternate Second World War. Discepts the political, economical and social changes America undergoes after the revolution and its effects on international politics, the communist movement and the growing fascist bloc.
  • The Second Version:
    • The Great Crusade (Ongoing): Discepts the alternate Second World War, and potentially its aftermath. Not yet complete and its most recent updates contradict earlier ones due to ongoing re-writes.
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    • The Special Edition (Discontinued): The combined first and second threads of the original version. Greatly expands the political background preceding the Revolution, describing in greater detail the slow rise of the socialist movement in America and the aftermath of the revolution. Currently up to 1938.
    • The Fool's Gold Edition (Discontinued): A second attempt at improving the pre-revolution lore and clear up the establishment of the United Republics.
  • The Sufficient Velocity Version (Ongoing): Intended to be the definitive version, it has the aid of two other authors plus numerous smaller contributions from others. Currently up to 1939.

The timeline was published by the Sea Lion Press.

Not to be confused with Reds, a movie by Warren Beatty about Red October (although the historical figure John Reed plays a big role in both stories).

This work provides examples of:

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  • 10-Minute Retirement: Quite a few high-ranking members of the UASR government, most prominently Premier William Z. Foster, greatly distrust Hoover in his position as Secretary of Public Safety; an opinion which is not entirely unjustifiable given Hoover's past as head of the NIB, and the fact that Hoover, despite having sworn fealty to the new government and the cause of Socialism, and does his job well, very much is still up to his old, authoritarian tricks. When the Revolt of the Cadres hits Detroit in 1937, Foster is through political manovuering able to use the crisis to force Hoover to resign and go into retirement. When the Second World War begins in 1940 and Foster resigns as a result, the UASR government agrees that Hoover, despite his character flaws, still is the best man they have to head the nation's intelligence department, and calls him back from retirement and reinstates him as Secretary of Public Safety.
  • Ace Pilot: Mentioned and deconstructed somewhat, noting that the Nazis almost certainly lied about their ace pilots' kill counts, and the Nazi habit of keeping their ace pilots running sorties until they died instead of rotating them back out to train new recruits meant that Luftwaffe had a hard time maintaining the skill of its pilots in the face of attrition. It also meant that they wouldn't pass on their skills onto other pilots, making the air force perform worse overall.
  • Action Girl: Jane Schafer, a young woman who grew up during the revolution, and after adulthood, made the jump from Plucky Girl to this by joining the army. Not much of her character arc has been revealed yet, except for her being highly decorated for her service in the Second World War.
  • Allohistorical Allusion:
    • Henry Wallace thinks he would remain a "simple farmer" without the influence of communism; he became a politician in spite of the radically changed political landscape.
    • The Southern Strategy makes an appearance as a political project, but rather it being the Republican party trying to get disenfranchised Dixiecrats to vote for them after the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, it is instead Workers' Communist Party trying to bridge the gap between poor whites and blacks in the Southern States and motivate them to become joint revolutionaries against the "Bourbon class".
    • The support by the right-wing of the Workers' Communist Party to appoint MacArthur as secretary of war after Norman Thomas' Presidential election mirrors Salvador Allende, socialist president of Chile, appointing Pinochet as Chief of Staff of the Army. Both MacArthur and Pinochet went on to overthrow the democratically socialist elected government.
    • The United States government's exile to the island of Cuba alludes to the exile of the nationalists to the island of Formosa (Taiwan) after their defeat in the Chinese Civil War
    • Operation Ajax, an American-sponsored political coup against the Pahlavi Shah in Iran to establish a Comintern-friendly regime, follows the same patterns as the historical one in 1952 (including the orchestral role of a person named Kermit Roosevelt), aside from that ITTL the event took place in 1940 and it is a Communist regime that's established afterwards.
    • Following Canada's turn to Communism in the 1980s, the late 1980s see the growth of a local cultural movement called "Canuck Kitsch", revolving around nostalgia for pre-Red Canada, especially products available in Canada before the Red Turn. This is meant invoke a simliar cultural phenomen from OTL in the East Germany areas after the fall of the wall, called "Ostalgie", which is simlairily about nostalgia for the old East German state.
  • Alternate History: Complete with excerpts of the universe's
  • Alternate History Wank: Multiple ideologies and nations are subject to this:
    • The United Republics cause a wank for the communist movement, being already a industrialized nation with sophisticated communications and scientific community. A series of revolutions in Central and Latin America in a inspired by the American revolution expanded the membership roost to dozens in the Comintern.
    • Nazi Germany is also wanked, as it avoids most of its Easy Logistics and gains access to Lybian oil, along with financial support from Britain and France. This happens because otherwise Nazi Germany would be curb stomped by the combined American and Soviet forces which would not make for a very interesting story.
    • Inverted with neoliberalism, which is mostly a fringe ideology. The Capitalist Bloc by The New '10s have vast welfare states which in most cases are more expansive than what existed in real life, as a way for capitalists to prevent the working class from joining communist movements.
  • Amazon Brigade: A very literal example. The all female combat units of the Red Army during the 30s and 40s are often called "the Amazon Brigades" colloquially.
  • Author Avatar: The authors said the in-universe discussion board character "flibbertygibbet" most closely represents one of the authors' (Aelita) views. The in universe poster "Ziburinis Squared" is also based on another of the Authors (The Red Star Rising).
  • Assassination Attempt:
    • Part of the change in the timeline is because this fails to happen, when Leon Czolgosz is arrested for vagrancy by a racist cop, before he can make his assassination attempt against President McKinley.
    • In 1927, a successful one happens on Independence Day against the popular reformist-Republican President Leonard Wood at the hands of a KKK member, who was angry at his broad reforms helping to enfranchise black people in the South. Wood is gravely wounded by two shots to the chest in the attempt, and succumbs to his injuries seven days later, leading to his vice-President, Herbert Hoover ascending to the presidency.
    • The 1932 assassination attempt against Japanese Emperor Hirohito by a Korean independence activist still takes place. What is changed though, is that Hirohito is seriously wounded in the attack and never fully recovers from his injuries, and is ultimately left partially incapacitated, allowing his younger brother, Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu, to assume the position of Kampaku, the Emperor's chief advisior, thereby becoming the de facto head of the Japanese state.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Essentially describes Longworth and MacArthur's suspension of the Constitution and attempted power grab. It doesn't work.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed:
    • Nicholas Longworth, the disgraced political leader of the National Salvation Front coup, attempts suicide by hanging in his prison cell, rather than facing prosecution by the Socialist government. His attempt fails when he is discovered in the act.
    • The Green Guard's most fanatical units decide that rather than face the justice of war crime trials in the days following Brazil's official surrender to the United nations and the restoration of the Empire they may as well die on their feet. This results in Salgado's most die hard fanatics to gather for one last charge, announcing their intention to attack the troops that were meant to accept their surrender with a final broadcast of "Death before Dishonor" and being killed to a man after a spectacular but unwinnable fight. It would almost be poetic if they weren't a State Sec fond of terror tactics, war crimes, and raping female POWs.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The United Republics are presented in a more positive light than most of the other governments of the time, but it is far from perfect. Amongst its abuses include the setting up of kangaroo courts and the execution of potentially innocent civilians (though nowhere near on the scale of Stalinist Russia).
    • The UASR's foreign policy, mainly trying to push along the World Revolution, is also noted to be extremely aggressive, to the point where even convinced Socialist historians have looked back on certain controversial decisions with critical eyes, and described them as needlessly beligerent and even occasionally jeopardizing the world peace. The policy of kickstarting industrialization amongst its Communist allies in South America, is in hindsight viewed as mainly being an attempt at strenghting its own position in those countries, and it is noted that the process happened at a steep humantarian cost for the local peasantry. Similarly, the decision to overthrow the governments of Iceland and Iran during the Second World War — with both states having been neutral parties in the war — while justified back in the day as a case of military exigency, is seen as morally dubious at best in the decades after the war.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Subverted. Emma Goldman, aka Red Emma, is a powerful figure in the Revolutionary government. This causes much debate in the Anarchist Movement. Anarcho-syndicalism in particular plays a large part in the organisation that enables the Red May revolution and it has been hinted that Chicago may effectively become an anarchist commune.
  • Brains and Brawn: In the pro-Nazi rump "Free American State" in Byelorussia, William Dudley Pelley is Brains to Virgil Effinger's Brawn. While Pelley is a political leader of micronation and skilled administrator, Effinger is a leader of paramilitary squad and the main overseer of torture and executions of Soviet and American prisoners.
  • Canada, Eh?: Averted. Canada is stated to become a front of the future Cold War between the FBU and the USAR, with a heavily guarded border, nuclear weapons pointed at the United Republics, and a Quebec secession crisis causing this timeline's Cuban Missile Crisis in 1979.
  • Chummy Commies: The United Republics and communists in general are pretty clearly the heroes, in spite of moral complexities. They do include some individual Dirty Communists, like Patton, Eisenhower, Nixon, and J. Edgar Hoover. Even good ol' Honest Lincoln gets an in-universe posthumous baptism as a good comrade.
  • Cincinnatus: The Marxist interpretation of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" is this, as enacted more-or-less successfully by the Workers' Communist Party. The principle was that during the revolution, the whole of the working class, organized by the party, would take complete control of the state in order to enact its transformative program. In-universe, how well they fit this ideal is less clear.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Robert W. Welch becomes a popular voice amongst the in-exile American government on Cuba, eventually getting his own radio show, Private Opinion, where he preaches anti-Communism and support for MacArthur's regime. However, in the early 1960s, around the same time MacArthur's health starts waning, Welch's radio show gets an increasingly bizarre and erratic bent, as his radio sermons start turning into unhinged rants, speaking of communism as an "ancient, satanic conspiracy" in league with the Illuminati, which he believes is run by the British Royal Family. Welch's superiors at first quietly edit out some of his weirder outbursts from the broadcast, but following MacArthur's death, it gets harder to ignore the fact that Welch is slowly, but surely going insane, as he publicly accuses MacArthur's successor, Robert Kennedy, of being a high ranking MDSS agent known as "Raven", controlled by J. Edgar Hoover to assassinate MacArthur and sublimate the Americuban government back under American control. Private Opinion is then eventually taken off-air in 1964 for inflammatory rhetoric against the President (and for promoting dubious health products). This doesn't sit well with Howard Hughes, who gets in touch with Welch and gives him a platform on his private radio station, over protests from his business advisors that Welch is too unstable and erratic to be trusted, allowing Welch to bring back Private Opinion in 1966. At first, Welch is given great editorial freedom by Hughes, allowing his publicly broadcasted ramblings to get even weirder and crazier, culminating in in the early 1970s where he repeatedly accuses the government of the French-British Union of being in on the Communist-Illuminati conspiracy; this results in trouble for Hughes, as he is working on governmental projects for the FBU and makes him realize that he has to reign Welch in to some degree, so he has him gradually Kicked Upstairs, having more and more of Private Opinion's airtime devoted to guest spots, while Welch is made director of programming and production, effectively taking him and his opinions off the air. Welch doesn't get any less crazier, however, and instead start obsessively wasting company resources on sending lower-ranking staff reporters out to find evidence for his insane theories (unsurprisingly, these expeditions all prove fruitless). Welch finally manages to burn his last bridges in 1980, as he causes a major incident when he breaks onto the set of the live talkshow The Red Hour with Lord Richard Cecil during broadcast, pushes the host out of his seat and angrily yells about the FBU being in cahoots with the Illuminati and conspiring to ensure the "Satanic World Order", before the show is cut off. Hughes, having died in 1976, is not around to protect Welch this time, and he is immediately fired and effectively blacklisted from all media business.
  • Cool Plane: The Soviets largely use the same planes they did in our timeline, while the British use some different aircraft such as the Avro London heavy bomber. The Germans start the war with the usual Bf-109s, Stukas, and Ju-88s, but move onto more advanced TA-190s and unlike OTL; make use of a four engined strategic bomber known as the He-277 well regarded by all sides in the war. The American lineup is perhaps the most changed with aircraft like the F-35 Belladonna and the B-23 Superfortress (roughly equivalent to the B-29). The Italians and Japanese make their own entrees into the cool plane contest of course.
  • Cool Ship: The Enterprise, America's most decorated warship ever, also appears in this timeline albeit with some alterations. In terms of battleships, the Yamato, Fate, Il Duce, and Lion class battleships are probably the most grandiose expressions of this trope as the world's navies race to build the biggest and baddest ship they can.
    • Deconstructed somewhat with the Bismarck, where its OTL design flaws that lead it to being several thousand tons heavier than the USS North Carolina class battleship while having less firepower and being less well defended from long ranged plunging fire are called to attention in an in-universe thread. More specifically, the German battleships are built around a "banded armor, turtleback" scheme where armour is generally spread across the ship while the Citadel (the most heavily armoured part of the ship meant to protect the vital components) was quite small and only guarded absolute essentials. America, Britain, and Japan however use "all or nothing", where the ship focuses on protecting the most vital areas (the belt, the citadel, and the deck) and only leaves the minimum for everything else to save weight. This means that shells striking nonvital parts of the ship will simply pass through, whereas the Bismarck had just enough armour to let shells arm and detonate after penetrating non-vital components. The Bismarck's armour scheme is excellent in close ranged naval combat like in the first world war, but because of the thin deck armour in particular and the small citadel not protecting a number of secondary components, is not well suited to protecting from long ranged, radar directed "plunging fire" where shells come in from a steep angle onto the top of the ship.
      • The effects of these are seen in the battle of Iceland between the American and German fleets where despite the Germans having a significant advantage in the number of capital ships, are crushed by the Americans in the gun battle. Bad design choices with regards to German aircraft carrier design also mean that despite having two carriers to America's three at the battle, the Americans had a three to one numerical advantage in number of planes.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Those Wacky Nazis mix this with The Fundamentalist. This comes to bite them during the later stage of WWII when they believe the Allies had been duped by Jews and leftists and will take little effort to convince to join in fighting the Comintern. They are wrong.
  • Defector from Decadence: JFK in this timeline. At first his exiled family think he died in the revolutionary violence and hold him up as a martyr only to learn later he actually joined the Revolution, changed his name to Sean Cinnéide and is now studying at West Point.
  • Demoted to Extra: Theodore Roosevelt does not become US president, being reduced to a historical footnote. Though it's implied he becomes popular during the Second Cultural Revolution amongst conservationists.
  • Dirty Communists: Stalin and most of the USSR. Made clear when a report from the truth commission revealed that the Soviet government killed half a million people between the Russian Civil War and the Second World War.
  • Double-Blind What-If: Amusingly, a very popular piece of alternative history literature with the title The Man in the High Castle does exist in this timeline. But it speculates on how the world would have looked like if Douglas MacArthur and the National Salvation Front had won the Second American Civil War.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the original conception, the Cold War would evolve into a three-way conflict between the Franco-British Unionnote , the Soviet Unionnote  and the United Republicsnote . However, as the timeline evolved to include the Butterfly of Doom, the authors decided to change the way the Cold War evolves. Currently it seems that the Cold War will evolve as a two-way conflict between the FBU and the Comintern, with the geopolitical game greatly favoring the Comintern.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Heavily deconstructed, noting that most of the Waffen SS and the Green Guard do not actually live up to their reputations of being fearless badass storm troopers with only a handful of units actually being formidable enough to be considered "elites" instead of politically reliable paramilitary forces. The Green Guard, in particular, is rapidly wiped out in the final stage of the South American theatre, with the whole corps being annihilated one after the other and most of its soldiers being noted to be "starved and beaten children and psychopaths".
  • The Empire: Quite a few in fact. The Franco-British Union is also known as the Franco-British Empire in less polite circles and is quite simply the largest formal empire to ever exist in human history by every metric besides percentage of the human population living inside of it; combining the British and the French Empires at their peak size. In the sense of Empires of being states with an Emperor as the head of state, Japan's two and a half thousand year old monarchy has been dismantled following the end of World War Two, while the Brazilian and German Emperors have both returned to lead Brazil and West Germany, subverted in that the Brazilian and West German Empires are much more pleasant than the republics that preceded them.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: One of the consequences of the American Cultural Revolution in the mid-thirties is the liberalization of sexual mores. However, it's not entirely clear exactly how much sex constitutes "lots of sex" in this case; an in-universe discussion commenter castigates the in-universe version of Public Enemies for depicting so many threesomes, saying he can see "that sort of thing happening in the fifties, but not the thirties." The liberalization of sexual mores is not entirely without controversy; indeed, the opposition Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in this time gains a fair amount of converts by shifting radically to the left economically but to the right on moral values. A Second Cultural Revolution spanning from the late '50s through the 1970s (not yet written, but planned for future updates) results in even further liberalization of sexual mores.
    • It's also noted by a present-day member of a web forum from America that this is apparently exaggerated in-universe outside of America; in something corresponding roughly to the dominant cultural mores of contemporary American society in the actual timeline, places like New York and California tend to be very socially liberal (and thus closer to this trope) whereas places in the Midwest and the South, while perhaps more liberal in these ways, still tend to be more conservative.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: A Soviet diplomat is dumbfounded when the revolutionary American government doesn't shoot Robert Taft for not taking his oath of office, and this pisses off Joseph Stalin to no end.
  • Executive Meddling: This timeline's version of Tintin in America falls victim to an in-universe version. Following the American Revolution, Hergé is asked by his editors to include an explicitly anti-Communist message in the story. Hergé, though personally skepticial towards Communism, is not a fan of the decision, as it means the story essentially becomes a retread of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets. When Hergé later redraws the story, he alters it to be slightly more neutral towards the Americans.
  • Face Death with Dignity: President-Elect Norman Thomas does not flinch in the face of the detachment of the MacArthur-lead coup coming to summarily execute him. Instead, he correctly assumes that the men has come to kill him and calmly tells them that he is Not Afraid to Die, while just as calmly pleading for them to stop what they are doing as it would surely doom the American nation to destruction. He then finally tells them if their minds is set on killing him, they should just stop wasting his time and Get It Over With already.
  • Face–Heel Turn: MacArthur's betrayal of the US government. Henry Ford himself flees to Nazi Germany and becomes a fierce supporter of Adolf Hitler.
  • Famous Last Words: "No. I have already made my peace with God. I am already prepared to die for the revolutionary struggle. I am begging you to save your own soul, and turn away from this madness. But if you're determined to plunge this nation into darkness, hurry up and shoot me, and quit wasting my time.'' Norman Thomas
  • Fictional Political Party: Played with; as the TL develops, new political parties form, but usually out of existing political parties. And the parties that have the same name tend to have diverged in radically different ways to become In Name Only versions of their OTL counterparts.
    • In the present day, the American major parties, from the political right to left, are:
      • True Democrats: the designated traitor party. The drain trap that catches everything that won't accommodate to the revolution, becoming the mirror image of Western communist parties in our world and are similarly weak on the national level. Their politics were initially about reversing the Second American Revolution and restoring the old order but after decades being a Joke Character of American politics they mellowed out. By the 2010s their policies would be equivalent to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
      • The Democratic-Republican Party: The resident mainstream right-wing party, although still certainly very radical by real life standards and considered centre-left by the Capitalist world. It's a catchall for the progressive political center- they approach socialism from a mutualist note  perspective. They favour markets and limited property relations. Think a communist American version of IRL libertarians. As far as foreign policy is concerned, they're one of the most pacifistic parties.
      • Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party: the former left-wing of the Democratic Party, they approach socialism from a christian perspective, and are largely left-wing nationalists. They embrace a leftist version of American exceptionalism and fit in between the CLP and the LP with regards to their approach to how centralised economic planning should be and between those two and the DRP with regards to the approach to the market. In terms of foreign policy the DFLP is a somewhat militant party, advocating for a confrontation with the Capitalist world and supporting America's allies.
      • Communist Labor Party: the former center and right-wing of the Workers' Party, they place a greater emphasis on Marxism, support a more centrally planned economy and are largely centrist on social issues. They generally advocate for the most state presence and involvement out of any of the parties in the Union of American Socialist Republics and have the strongest "authoritarian" streak, though certainly less so than the CPSU or CPC in our time line. Out of the two largest parties in American politics, they're the most comparable to the Republican party in our timeline, and "neoconservatism" is even used to refer to their policies. They are essentially, the Bordigists to Liberation's Councilists.
      • Liberation Communist Party: the left-wing splinter from the Workers' Party and most often just called Liberation. They're Left Communists note  who want to push foward the world revolution and have a strong libertine streak. They favour a decentralised, democratic structure for planning the economy and abolishing wage labour and commodity value and are in favour of more localised structures of government and administration. In terms of foreign policy, they're actually the more hawkish of the two major parties.
      • Social Ecological Union: Greens, with libertarian marxist and social anarchist wings. The Champions of environmental diversity and stability, the SEU qualifies as far-left by any standard and generally supports full worker control over the economy. In terms of foreign policy, they are perhaps the most pacifistic of any of the major parties, advocating for a reduction in armaments and the seeking of detente with the Capitalist bloc to let its problems bring about their end on their own. They are noted to have some issues with an abnormally high acceptance of pseudoscientific woo among their ranks and lax party discipline.
    • In the present day, the major parties of the Franco-British Union, from the political right to left, are:
      • Liberty/Liberté;: the predominant right-wing opposition in the FBU, it does not style itself as a political party in spite of electing representatives to local and national government. It's mostly composed of an armed paramilitary wing and Venture Capitalists, Liberty styles itself as an ideologically liberal organization but is willing to support authoritarian measures to battle communism and opposes identity politics and the LGBT movement.
      • People's Alliance/Alliance Populaire: the party of perpetual government in the post-WW2 era, formed in 1949 from the ad hoc alliance between the British Conservative Party and the French Rally of Popular Republicans among other conservative and/or pro-capitalist British and French Parties. The People's Alliance has constructed the economy along corporatist lines, establishing pro-business "patriotic unions" and doling out patronage through a sophisticated system of state capitalism to ensure social stability. On social issues, they've held back women, minority and LGBT movements and only make reforms opportunistically.
      • Labour Party/Parti d'Ouvriers: the merger between the UK's Labour Party and the French Section to the Workers' International (SFIO), it is a big tent left-wing party that suffered from the flight of the right-wing to the People's Alliance, the party leadership was taken over by Marxists and the center dwindled. It's under constant attack from the corporate media and the State Sec.
      • Communist Party: officially known as Entente Section of the Communist International, has remained unified under a general program of revolutionary socialism. Since the seventies, the Communists are the hotbed of identity politics including feminist, LGBT liberation and multicultural thought.
    • In the Republic of Palestine, the nation is dominated by the Democratic Liberation Front (DLF), which is a coalition of six parties that are largely similar except for minor points, with the only legal opposition being the Palestine Communist Party which believes that the DLF is not radical enough and moderate parties like the Islamic Democrats and General Zionists. You can see the greater detail of the parties here
  • Fictional United Nations: The Comintern evolves into this after the rise of the United Republics. By the end of the Great Revolutionary War, it had its own sports association and even UN-style agencies like a culture organization, a health organization and a standarization bureau amongst others.
  • Flock of Wolves: In the attempt to monitor and disrupt the True Democrats party, back in their early days they were still very much Evil Reactionaries, the UASR government initiated a large scale inflitration of the organisation with undercover agents and recruitment of informants amongst its members. As a result, this happened quite a lot, even to the point of farce. In one particularily infamous example, it turned out that the True Democrats' local chapter in Monroe, Louisiana was made up entirely of undercover agents and paid informants from StateSec, the Louisiana Red Guards, and the local parish militia.
  • Foil: Also counts as a Historical In-Joke, Barry Goldwater becames this to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Both act like prisoner dissidents in communist countries who became prominent figures in exile, known for their literary work and uncompromising attitude against socialist regimes but while Solzhenitsyn was the one who criticized the West for moral decay and turning away from Christian values, Goldwater became opposed to the socially regressive politics of the Alliance of Free States.
  • For Want of a Nail: Originally the timeline diverged entirely because a racist cop in Buffalo happened to pick on a certain Polish immigrant. While this remains probably the biggest inciting event for the divergence from our timeline, it is not the point of departure in the rewrite. The new point of divergence is a slightly diffrent outcome of the interaction between two minor socialist groups at the end of the 1800s, which ends up averting a split that weakened the movement in the long term;
    • Another point of divergence is that the Supreme Court rules against anti-trust legislation in various Real Life cases that were won by progressives. With a government that is pro-big business and the progressive movement appearing increasingly impotent, radical ideologies become more popular among the American people.
    • The American participation in World War One from the beginning causes a radical politicization of military officers as well makes the German offensive against Russia less effective, which strengthens the nascent Soviet Union. It also results in the radicalization of African-Americans as they end up experiencing life outside of Jim Crow and also ending racial segregation in the military twenty years earliernote 
    • The collapse of the two-party system the The Roaring '20s is also an important factor as it reduced the Democratic Party to a regional status in the Deep South with the progressive wing being absorbed into the Democratic-Farmer-Labor-Party which works in coalition with the Republican Party. This allows the Communist Party manuevering room to grow politically due to split voting.
  • Framing Device: The timeline is generally told through in universe historical documents, but also through glimpses of discussion by board members of the alternate world's

  • General Ripper: General Douglas MacArthur lives up to this during the Second American Civil War and subsequent dictatorship in exile in Cuba.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The United Republics are a nation of people devoted to social equality and individual liberty. But their early history is marked by political repression, including kangaroo courts and summary executions against a junta that tried to destroy American democracy. World War II is described as having been even bloodier, and even though how much of the carnage was produced by the army of the UASR has not been specified, it's clear that they put up one hell of a fight.
    • It is evident that the parts of the UASR government view themselves as such, with some of its founding members having witnessed events such as the domestic capitalist elite being willing to sacrifice American democracy on the pyre of profit and then afterwards cynically collaborate with the very same fascists who staged some of the worst acrocities in human history, means that Captalism, in any its forms, will always be inherity abhorrent, and as such the desire to fight it by spreading the World Revolution is in turn inherently morally justified, and that sometimes dirty means must used in this fight. This worldview, and the consquences that stem from it, is often examined and even criticized in-universe.
  • Government in Exile: After losing the civil war, Douglas MacArthur establishes one in Cuba with himself as President for Life.
  • Government Procedural: The story focuses on the American government, first the United States government dealing with a radicalized labor movement and the often futile attempts by progressives to implement necessary reforms. After the Second American Civil War, it focuses on the United Republics' government attempts to implement socialism and facing inevitable war with the Axis Powers.
    • One of the most notable aspects is that progressives pass a constitutional amendment granting women's suffrage earlier and transform America into a semi-parliamentarian system like the one in the United Kingdom and other European nations. The head of government is the First Secretary elected by the House of Representatives who is given authority oversees the Executive Cabinet while the President is stripped of nearly all power.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: Implied to be the situation between the powers in the modern day; the former colonial powers remain imperialistic and ruthlessly capitalistic, but are suggested to have had to liberalise how they treat their colonial subjects in order to avoid mass socialist uprisings, and are not nearly as fascistic as the Cold War propaganda of the Comintern would depict them. The United Republics is in many ways a socialist workers' paradise but is suggested to have done nasty things in the Cold War. And the Soviet Union, after Stalin, reforms its government towards the initial vision of Lenin and later fully democratizes.
  • Hate Sink: The in universe posters RitterStahl, Cheka, RuleBritannia and CyberDoctor are generally thoroughly dislikable people, being a dyed in the wool West German Wehrmacht apologist, a Stalin apologizing Tankie, a hardliner Franco-British conservative, and an Ayn Rand worshipping objectivist respectively. While not actually dumb, they tend to be rude, abrasive, and hostile to those they disagree with.
  • Heel–Face Turn: J. Edgar Hoover kind of qualifies; he goes from being a hardline reactionary to a hardline revolutionary, mostly because doing so allows him to maximise the amount of power available to him. His authoritarianism, however, remains essentially unchanged, if it doesn't increase in the transition.
    • After their defeat in World War Two, the Axis countries in South America switch sides to join the Allies and Comintern against Germany, Italy, and Japan.
  • Hellhole Prison: Barry Goldwater comes to describe Alcatraz, which he was held in for 25 years, along with other political prisoners and organised crime members, as such, saying he was forced to perform hard, backbreaking labor for most of the day, regularily risking his life to smuggle in paper so he secretly could write anti-Communist essays in the middle of the night which he would smuggle out again, and was constantly bullied by several of the gangsters he was imprisoned alongside, with the prison guards being mosty apathetic to his. Pretty much every other former prisoner and employee at the prison disputes this account, noting that there was a hard limit on how much work a prisoner could do in a week, leaving them with plently of free time and allowing them to form prisoner clubs for various activities, with Goldwater being noted to be the head of a rugby team and a debate club. Goldwater's so-called smuggled paper for his essays and the pencils he wrote them with was openly bought at the official prison store for the money he was given as compensation for his work. About the only part of Goldwater's story anyone is willing to collaborate is that he smuggled out his essays as letters.
  • Hereditary Republic: Douglas MacArthur attempts to invoke this after being made President for Life over Americuba, by grooming his son, Arthur MacArthur IV, to being his successor. His plans doesn't come to pass, and eventually Robert F. Kennedy rises as his eventual official successor and proceeds to reform the dictatorial Americuban government into a proper democratic one.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Huey Long, among others. Long had good reason to suspect that standing up for the Constitution would have dangerous consequences; he chose to do so anyway.
    • Stalin's refusal to leave Moscow during the battle leads to his death from the shelling in 1941.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: In-universe, the Ku Klux Klan appears to have benefited from this kind of treatment outside of America, in nations unfriendly to the socialist government.
  • Historical In-Joke: Also used liberally. Bank robber John Dillinger becoming a national security agent is one of the most obvious examples, as is William F. Buckley, Jr. (one of America's foremost conservative thinkers) becoming an orthodox Marxist and J. Edgar Hoover (the commie-busting head of the FBI) switching allegiances to the new communist government in order to preserve and expand his power. And apparently in this world, it's nearly impossible to think of actor Marion Morrison being in a western.
    • Not to mention Cuba becoming the seat of the capitalist US government in exile.
    • Or Wang Jingwei leading the United Front against Japan while Chiang Kai-Shek turned a Japanese puppet.
  • Historical Villain Downgrade: Stalin ATL is portrayed as very authoritarian, but not to the degree he was in our timeline. A lot of this comes from the conditions that prompted the rise of high Stalinism in the USSR never arising due to the Soviet Union no longer being isolated and having a more powerful Socialist country than itself to account for in its actions.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: MacArthur's coup, intended to crush a potential socialist insurgency before it started, ended up creating such a storm of popular and political outrage amongst the military, politicians and the general public that it led to the revolution he was afraid of in the first place, which in turn ended up with him and the other remnants of the former United States finding themselves in exile to Cuba.
    • Henry Ford, after fleeing to the US, joins up with Hitler and becomes an armament minister. His arrogance and belief in Nazi superiority led him to put his marque on everything he's built, including weapons he built with slave labor. When Germany is defeated he is unable to deny his highly visible role in Nazi atrocities, and gets about much mercy as you would expect at the hands of the UASR.
    • In a Shout-Out to Red Alert 1's Soviet ending, Salgado meets his end not at the hands of Partisans but his own trusted (and much abused) female Aide. The Aide takes part in a plot to launch a coup to restore the Brazilian Monarchy and end the Integralist's war effort by poisoning his tea as he prepares to make a speech at a news reel. As he lays choking and dying from the poison, she angrily lets out her frustrations against him and shoots him three times before being shot herself by another coup agent to close off all loose ends.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the changes to the timeline, especially through the presence of a prominent Socialist party in the US congress throughout the 1910s and 1920s, surprisingly much of history in those years happens much like it would in OTL, with only some subtle changes. Pop culture, for the most part, develops much like it would in our world, though this also drastically changes when the Revolution sweeps in.
    • Herbert Hoover still becomes the US president in the late 1920s. The main difference being that he actually becomes president earlier than in OTL. He first ascends to the presidency in 1927 from being vice-president, when President Leonard Wood dies from his injures following an Assassination Attempt.
    • Fascist Italy still rises under Benito Mussolini and Nazi Germany still rises under Adolf Hitler, and World War II still takes place as a showdown between Fascist nations on one side and Communist and Capitalist allies on the other, with the battle for Stalingrad marking the beginning of the former's defeat. The war is, however, somewhat longer and much bloodier.
    • Brothers Walt and Roy Disney still rises as stars in the animated film business of the 1930s. Though instead of OTL's Disney Company, their studio is instead a collective cooperative named "Hyperion" after its street address. Mickey Mouse is also partially hit by the Butterfly Effect, retaining the name Walt Disney had originally considered for him; Mortimer "Morty" Mouse.
      • Of further note, this timeline's version of Donald Duck's debut cartoon "The Wise Little Hen", is instead a tale of how Donald and other wetland creatures work together to overthrow a stereotypical fairy tale style hen encroaching on their land as a capitalist.
    • Edward Bernays still codifies the idea of Public Relations and thereby becomes a prominent funding figure in the fields of advertisement and propaganda, and he also still assists the United Fruit Company with a campagn that more or less lets get them get away with heaping abuse after abuse upon their local laborforce in South America. One of the main differences is that he becomes slightly more involved with poltics than in OTL; one of the greatest feathers in his cap becomes helping the conservative partys of France and England repairing their tattered reputation following World War II and even win in a landslide in the FBU 1950 elections.
    • Frank Capra still makes a version Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, still starring Jimmy Stewart. This version is simply called Comrade Smith, and it overtly references the "Revolt of the Cadres" incident.
    • Ishiro Honda still becomes a influential figure in the Kaiju film genre in the 1950s and beyond, directing several entries in the Godzilla franchise like he did in OTL.
    • The Beatles still rises as a band that changes both music and the world music industry forever. The difference being that they continue using and become famous under their original band name of "The Quarrymen" (resulting in "Quarrymania", rather than Beatlemania), and invoked Pete Best remains in the band line-up as drummer, rather than being replaced by Ringo Starr. A more subtle difference is that the band's sound is ultimately more Skiffle influenced than in OTL.
      • By extension, a version of The British Invasion, still occurs in the mid to late 1960s, the main difference being that this period is know as "The Franco-British Invasion" in hindsight, and that this timeline's versions of The Rolling Stones goes by the name "Hoochie Coochie" and The Who goes by "The Group".
    • Gene Roddenberry still creates and manages to turn Star Trek into a lasting multi-media franchise. The main differences being that Gene is already able to get The Original Series off the ground already in the autumn of 1964 (resulting in the show lasting for four seasons and a total of 81 episodes), that the character of Captain Kirk is a bisexual woman (being Gillain T. Kirk rather than James T. Kirk) and is played by none other than Marilyn Monroe (though in this timeline she still goes under her old name of Norma Jeane Baker), and that Bones is a Russian rather than an American (this also results in the character of Scotty not being invented until the second season, working as an analogue for Chekov in that he represents a European nationality). But in the end, even with the changes in timelines, Gene is still Gene, with Warts and All, and some of his more infamous and ill-advised story ideas and views on sexuality still ultimately makes it onto screen, with roughly the same results as in OTL; being seen as somewhat problematic elements of an otherwise beloved and famously progressive show.
    • L. Ron Hubbard still funds a finanically successful religious movement, that manages to go big by drawing in famous actors into movement to help promote it (amongst others Errol Flynn), and also draws a lot of controversy and concern, both legal and otherwise. The difference being that Hubbard doesn't move on from the name of Dianetics in this timeline, so his movement ends up being called the Church of Dianetics.
    • Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. still suffers a stroke in the early 1960s that renders him unable to speak, and thereby influrence the political career of one his sons at a critical time. He also ultimately dies from a second stroke in 1969.
    • Jaws by Steven Spielberg still comes into being, being at first a surprise hit in the UASR and USSR. Talks about distrubting it in the capitalist countries stall for a bit, due to fears from both sides that the part of the plotline about a corrupt nomenklatura covering up shark attacks for political gain won't translate well to a non-communist audience. But a deal is eventually made, and, much to everyone's surprise the film becomes a hit on the capitalist market too, defining the idea of the summer blockbuster. (It is also implied that rather than making Poltergeist in this timeline, Spielberg instead chooses to finish developing the Sci-Fi Horror film Watch the Skies!, a project he never finished in OTL, but inspired him to make Poltergeist in the first place.)
    • George C. Scott still ends up playing the role of George Patton on film. Albeit in a Docudrama about the Revolution.
    • A version of The Simpsons also comes into being with the title Reactor 420-69. As said title implies, this version is less of a Dom Com and a bit more of a Work Com, focusing mainly on the antics of Homer Simpson, who is the incompetent commissar and inspector of a local nuclear power plant. The show ends up running for 12 seasons, the final season ending with Homer involved in politics, first as a local representative, before finally rising the to the office of the Premier of the United Republics. The series finale becomes (in)famous, as Premier Homer accidentally nukes London, and the show ends on a surprisingly dark note as World War III is imminent.
    • Aaron Sorkin still writes a popular TV show on the American government starring Martin Sheen, though it is called Capitol Hill rather than The West Wing. Amusingly, the criticism it receives by the press in-universe is much like its real life counterpart; quite lauded back at its launch, but later remembered somewhat less fondly in hindsight for what is seen as overly idealized politics and at times hamfisted and preachy writing.
    • Iain M. Banks still succumbs to cancer.
    • Leonardo DiCaprio still ends up playing Howard Hughes. The difference being that he plays him in the film Death of MacArthur, the timeline's version of The Death of Stalin.
  • I Have Your Wife: Post-revolution, Hebert Hoover, now living in exile in the UK, claims that he enabled Longworth and MacArthur's coup under duress, saying that the conspirators threatened his family.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Douglas MacArthur attempts to turn Americuba into a Hereditary Republic by setting his son, Arthur MacArthur IV, up to being his successor after his death. It is, however, clear to every that the rather hapless Arthur has inheired none of his father's brains and guts, and once old MacArthur bites it, Arthur is in short order politically outmanovuered by Robert F. Kennedy, who quickly secures himself the position as the new President, which he uses to reform the government and reinstate democracy.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): All of the government bureaus and branches are given new names under the new government. In addition, the Dominican Republic gets renamed to the People's Republic of Quisqueya, while Washington, D.C. becomes DeLeon-Debs, D.C.
  • Kangaroo Court: Many of the counter-revolutionaries captured by the UASR during the early days of its existence are given ludicrously unfair show trials. Granted, large percentages of them are probably guilty, but that doesn't make it any less unfair. That said, those who aren't executed get pardoned after about eleven years.
  • Karma Houdini: The Green Guard's most infamous general, known only as "O diabo verde", a man behind numerous war crimes and atrocities, is by all appearences not amongst the numerous men killed in their infamous last stand, and is generally believed to have slipped away into the thick South American jungle during the chaos of the battle. Though ultimately it is hard to tell for certain, as he was known to wear a face-concealing gasmask at all times and prety much all of his public records were destroyed, most likely deliberately, to the point where his real name managed to remain unknown to history, so it is not entirely out of the question that he could have been killed in the battle either. What further muddies the waters is the fact that Diabo verde had been proven to use Body Doubles, and some historians have suggested that he was not just one man, but that the name might in fact have been a Collective Identity shared by the leaders of the Green Guard. Whatever the case is, O diabo verde has become infamous as a symbol in post-war South America as a symbol of how some of the worst people of the war managed to completely escape justice, and urban legends about who he was and where he ended up is still flucturating in the region.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: While the persecution of political rivals in the beginning of the UASR is clearly inexcusable both in and out of universe, many of the victims of the old Kangaroo Courts were indeed people who tried to stifle American democracy, like the KKK and George Marshall.
  • Last Stand:
    • With the Socialist army closing in on Washington DC, MacArthur orders the 29th National Guard to delay the invasion force for as along as possible, while he rearranges for a large scale evacuation to Cuba.
    • The Battle of Moscow, which is also a turning point in the Second World War.
  • Leave No Survivors: As the battle on the Eastern Front in World War II gets increasingly ugly and brutal, the American Red Army starts summarily executing Waffen SS members, civilian collaborators, suspected spies, or deserters whenever they come across them, rather than taking them prisoner. Opinions — be it from historians, military leaders, politicians, or the rank-and-file soldiers who had to handle the Dirty Business — differ greatly on whether this was just a Necessarily Evil part of an extremely bloody and terrible war or a major What the Hell, Hero? moment.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: The short stories about ordinary people's lives, contrasting with the big picture narrative focused on nations and governments.
  • Meaningful Rename:
    • Following the Second American Civil of 1933, the First Civil War of 1861–1865 becomes popularly known as "The Slavers' War" to better distinguish the two wars.
    • Following the Revolution, John F. Kennedy decides to distance himself from the exiled Kennedy Family by shredding himself of his American name, and going by the Gaelic version, Sean Cinnéide, instead.
  • Mole in Charge: George Patton, himself an undercover spy for the Socialist movement within the US Army, is put in charge of the part of the Army intelligence apparatus that is meant to sniff out any subversives and communist sympathizers in the military. Though many of the conservative hardliners in the military do suspect a mole somewhere in the organisation, they all fail to realize that it is the seemingly loyal and very trustworthy Patton.
  • My Greatest Failure: William Z. Foster resigns from his Premiership post right after the beginning of the Second World War, blaming himself for his failure to contain the Nazi menace.
  • Nepotism: Sort of. Patton keeps his socialist views secret from his superiors and surrounds himself with sympathetic officers, presumably assuming that he can use a cadre of loyal officers to his advantage. When he receives orders to enforce the suspension of the Constitution, he leads a rebellion. This is unusual in that it's one of the rare occasions in which nepotism is presented as having led to a positive outcome, and also unusual in that the officers he surrounds himself with are not depicted as incompetent.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • McArthur's coup, intended to head off a Communist revolution pretty much ensured it would happen. Sure the Worker's Party had won the 1932 election but having gained power legally it gave full assurances to rule within the Constitution and was trying to take a moderate road. The most likely outcome was something like the UK's labour government after 1945, nationalisation and massive reform but within the existing legal framework and with the option to vote them out in 1936. Instead, by attempting to take power, the General ensured the party had to trigger a revolution for its own survival and discredited capitalism within the entire country. The end result saw him in exile and the New Union is here to stay.
    • On top of the above, McArthur's National Salvation Front's decision to arrest every leading member of the Worker's Party they could get theirs hands on, only ultimately served to further radicalize the party, as the leadership where for the vast part made up of more moderate leftists who represented the party's right and center and skewed towards social-democracy as their predominant ideology. Had these people been standing as the victors of the Socialist side after the Civil War, they would likely haven chosen a more moderate, reconstructional approach to the aftermath, going for the option of attempting to preserve the old United States and its constitution and institutions for the most part, though with some egalitarian and left-wing modifications and overhauls. Instead, the more left and and even far-left parts of the party stepped up to fill the vacuum from the arrest of most of the leadership, and these people were mostly hardcore revolutionaries, preferring the approach of smashing and sweeping what they saw as the old, hopelessly corrupt, inefficient and unequal American state completely away, and start over from a clean slate with a new constitution, and in the end it meant their voices were the ones that won out.
  • One-Federation Limit: Defied. In the post-WW2 world, the three superpowers are the Franco-British Union, the Union of American Socialist Republics, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. And that's just the three top dogs.
  • Oppressive States of America: Played with. The United States does develop very authoritarian tendencies, which also existed in Real Life that are maximized by the failure of progressive economic reforms allowing monopolies to thrive.
    • The suppression of dissidents that occurred during our World War I is slightly worse, resulting in the arrest of socialist politicians, and even respected statesmen like Robert La Follette.
    • On the other hand the US implements a variety of political reforms, including moving towards a parlamentarian form of government, weakening of presidential power, dismantling of racial segregation-including Texas passing a law abolishing Jim Crow.
    • When the Worker's Party's candidate, Norman Thomas, wins the 1932 US Presidential election in a landslide, Nicholas Longworth and Douglas MacArthur successfully pressures Herbert Hoover to suspend the Constitution. Longworth and MacArthur use this as an pretext to have Thomas publicly assassinated and arrest all leading Worker's Party members. The so-called Freedom Corps attempt to put down any opposition, notably massacring Huey Long and disloyal members of the Louisiana State Legislature. This is the final straw that sets the stage for the Revolution and the formation of the United Republics.
    • The remnants of the US government and their supporters flee to Cuba and establish a new government, with Douglas MacArthur as President Evil. He proceeds to oppress the Cuban population. It's implied that this will be subverted in the later years of the Cuban-US nation.
    • The early years of the United Republics are a downplayed version of this trope. Many people are dealt with by kangaroo courts and firing squads, but it is nowhere near the scale of the Soviet Union, many of the sentenced were responsible for suppressing American democracy, and it did stop eventually. These actions are seen in-universe as a black spot on the history of the UASR, but none of the UASR leaders are portrayed as evil for them.
  • Opt Out: In the prelude to the Second World War, it becomes increasingly clear that a violent confrontation is going to be inevitable, most of the Actual Pacifists in the UASR government — and there are quite a few — decide to quietly step back, out of general principle.
  • Please Select New City Name: A bunch of cities get renamed after the Revolution, most notably Washington, D.C. becoming DeLeon-Debs, D.C.
  • The Political Officer: Starting with the Second Civil War, the American Red Guard employs Commissars in their units. Their job is to ensure to their best of their abilities that the rank-and-file soldiers maintain combat morale and loyality toward the revolution (later the state), and also reigning in attempts at committing war crimes against civilians.
  • President Evil: General MacArthur, especially in the earliest iteration of the timeline. Establishing himself as a military dictator of the White forces during the Second American Civil War, he continues enforcing his authoritarian and oppressive (especially towards Cubans) rule on Cuba. Only after MacArthur's death did his presidential successor, Robert F. Kennedy, institute a sincere democracy in Cuba.
  • Public Bathhouse Scene: In the immediate aftermath of the revolution, the local government councils built up public bathing facilities to increase the hygiene of the population. This is a case of Boring, but Practical as sanitation was non-existent outside of the very rich in the 1930s note 
  • The Purge: Stalin's Soviet Union and Foster's United Republics both play it straight. In the latter case, it is treated historically as a What the Hell, Hero? moment.
    • In a post-war report, written by a truth commission, it's revealed that up to half a million people died resulting of the persecution of kulaksnote  and union leaders as well Stalin's own purges. And it should be reminded, that due to Butterfly of Doom, Stalin was unable to enact the complete purges that he did in Real Life.
  • Putting on the Reich: Integralist Brazil. Post-Second World War Britain and France get pretty close to this. Propaganda on all sides of the Cold War will feature this for enemies.
  • The Quisling:
    • The very name of Henry Ford becomes synonymous with betrayal in the UASR for his collaboration with Nazi Germany.
    • Virgil Effinger and William Dudley Pelley, while not as prominent as Ford, are probably even more vicious than him. After the Nazis established a small puppet American state in occupied Belarus, they atttempt to restore the glorious American days under the banner of Nazism, all while ensuring the well-being for themselves and other American exiles at the expense of the starved and genocided Belarussian population. Even some of the American POWs were treated badly, with Black American POWs becoming slaves reminiscent of the Old South. It was so bad that when UASR soldiers liberated the area, the surviving Belarussian population was terrified of them, much to their confusion until they realised the truth and were outraged by Effinger and Pelley's atrocities.

  • Realpolitik: Many people who were famously anti-Communist in OTL, are quick to profess their loyality to the new Socialist post-revolution government, simply because it is a convenient way for them to keep at least some of their status and power. Most notable is J. Edgar Hoover, who — as the American Red Army is about to invade Washington DC — offers MacArthur to have his men from the NIB help with the evacuation effort. As such Hoover and his men is able to gather together a sizeable group of high-ranking businessmen and politicians looking to escape the advancing Socialist army, but instead of evacuating them, Hoover orders them placed under arrest, and then later surrenders them to the Socialist government for legal persecution, thereby successfully currying a lot of favor with the new leaders and escaping any persecution himself. He ends up being appointed to the first People's Secretary of Public Safety following the Revolution, and takes up the task with much zeal, successfully cracking down upon both The Mafia and the Kosher Nostra, as well as several Evil Reactionary groupings during his time in office.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Winston Churchill gives one over Britain for burning bridges with America and going to bed with fascist regimes.
    Churchill: "So it comes to this. Britain and France, who had every power to stop the Hun from arising in a new and more terrible form than ever; stand by and let the jackboot tread the steppes of Russia and damn hundreds of millions to certain annihilation and slavery. In our fear of Red America, China, and Russia, we have once again consigned millions to the fascist crocodile in hopes that they will be satisfied. And in their hopes to destroy Stalin, Jinwei, and Sinclair they forget that creatures like Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, Hirohito's Japan and Salgado's Brazil will never be satisfied. Ever shall they look for more to devour, until the whole world is theirs, and even then I doubt that they will not lust for more.
    We fear and hate America and the other red states so much that we can no longer see the true threat. The new system that America has created is far from beyond reproach, that is true. They accept their state's involvement in all things and have surrendered a right to free enterprise in the search of equality. They recklessly go forwards in hopes of finding Utopia without ever looking back and considering the path they are taking. Many have perished in their enthusiasm to break with the past and create their new system. And yet America remains a place where Liberty is cherished. There are open and fair elections in a multiparty system. You would not find Stalin's strongmanship there, nor Jinwei's lack of certainty for the future. Though we may disagree on economics and many moral policies, we still cherish liberty and democracy, and perhaps through America's influence, the rest of the Comintern can be guided away from the Stalinist model to something better.
    And yet thanks to our short-sighted folly, we would risk allowing vast portions of the world fall into the darkness of hateful and greedy men. I am no friend of Communism, anyone who knows me is aware of that, and earlier in my career I have indeed made comments in favor of the Fascist system as a bulwark against Marxism, comments I now deeply regret. And yet when I think about the war engulfing Russia and China and the war that looms over South America and the war that the Americans are committing themselves too, I can only think about how millions are suffering or shall suffer. I can only see people rushing to defend their homes, people gathering around any source of news they can to see what future awaits them, human beings receiving the letter that all families dread to hear and looking over the horizon with terror of what may come from it.
  • The Remnant: Americuba, which becomes a refuge for American anti-Communist exiles under MacArthur after the Revolution, claims to be the legitimate continuation of the old United States and acknowledges the UASR as an insurgent state.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized/The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Employs both tropes to an extent; it's more like The Revolution Will Not Be Sunshine and Rainbows. The new government in America may be more democratic than the Soviet Union, but it is far from squeamish. Nonetheless, it pretty unambiguously has the moral high ground over the U.S. government, which was willing to suspend the Constitution and declare war on its own populace when an election went in a manner it didn't like. The United Republics government isn't perfect about following its own Constitution in the early days either (in fact, it's quite authoritarian, although nowhere near as much as the USSR's government), but it doesn't suppress the electoral vote when an election goes awry. Anti-authoritarian currents in American society appear to have won out by the present day, as the Red Terror seems to be pretty universally regarded as a mistake.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman:
    • Ayn Rand: This world is 100 percent guaranteed to make her squirm. After a self-imposed exile from her adopted country, her work has become decidedly more dystopian than it would have been and, if possible, even more politically extremist.
    • Douglas MacArthur: The point man for the military junta that pressured outgoing President Hoover into suspending the constitution and crushing the commies for good. Currently, he's President Evil of the exile US government in Cuba.
    • George Orwell: Still hates the USSR, cautiously optimistic about Red America. His stories are less soul-crushingly depressing. The Last Man in Europe (this timeline's version of Nineteen Eighty Four) becomes less of a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story as Winston Smith escapes to America and witnesses a debate in Times Square.
    • George Patton: Old Blood and Guts has lived a very different life and had a very different military career. So different that he's one of the main military leaders of the Revolution.
    • Richard Nixon: Revealed to eventually become head of government of the UASR, though currently he has only directly appeared in a short story, as the head of a local military committee drumming up recruitment, and has a conversation with the protagonist about her choice to sign up.
    • Humphrey Bogart did some odd jobs and some acting in theater and short film, but eventually found his true calling in the Red Guards, fighting against the KKK in the South. As a result of that and his later Civil War service, he was inducted into StateSec, and did several stints as a intelligence agent posted in France and other foreign countries.
    • Ronald Reagan sort of remains an actor in this time; that is to say, in the 1950s he is a newsreader and sports commentator on radio, and in the 1960s and 1970s, he has become a news anchor on TV.
    • Mao Zedong tries, but never really manages to make a breakthrough as a political leader in the Chinese Communism movement. Instead, he becomes increasingly interested in the trade of writing, and becomes a famous and influential poet and playwright. At the time of his death in 1976, Mao had published over thirty books, including poetry, plays, and essays on socialism and politics, and his autobiography which numbered four volumes.
    • Greta Garbo: Never changes her name from Gustafsson and becomes the first lady of the UASR in the late 40s.
    • Ron Paul: Secretary-General of the Democratic-Republican Party (a social-democrat party on the center of the USAR political spectrum) in 2009.
    • Sean Hannity: A pundit and writer in the same style as in real life, except a hardcore Marxist.
    • Henry Ford: Flees America to join with Nazi Germany when he sees the writing on the wall in America, teaming up with Albert Speer to build up the economies of the Axis to be better suited for total war. Ends up executed following a guilty verdict at the Nuremberg trials.
    • Phillipe LeClerc leads Free France during WWII and becomes the President of France after the war.
    • Iain M. Banks becomes the leader of the FBU Labour Party until his death from cancer.
    • Peter Capaldi, in turn, is the leader of the Entente Section of the Communist International by the ITTL Present Day.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: Along with The Klan, these work as Black Shirts for the National Salvation Front during the Second Civil War. Following the Civil War, many new right-wing militias spring up, as many of the White forces who, for one reason or another, didn't evacute to Cuba want to continue fighting the war they lost. The largest and most organised of these militias call themselves "The Sons of Liberty", and it manages to establish several semi-independent cells across several states (though mostly in the South and the Midwest) and they are behind a couple of infamous terrorist attacks and attempted insurrections in the years immediately following the founding of the UASR.
  • Rightful King Returns: The return of the Brazilian Emperors to Brazil is a surprisingly straight example of this as Dom Pedro Henrique's entrance to Brazil is used to finish off the Integralist regime by providing a figurehead for the country to rally around in the face of the Brazilian republican right-wing having faced disgrace and defeat under Salgado's insanity. By all accounts, Brazil is a prosperous and burgeoning country significantly more successful than its OTL counterpart and is generally either considered a superpower or a country on the verge of becoming one. The FBU re-installing the Hohenzollern Kaiser to Germany as well as the assorted lesser German nobility and royalty is portrayed like this in the Capitalist sphere, but the German Monarchy is a significantly more contentious institution than Brazil's.
  • Rising Empire: Imperial Germany becomes an even more prominent example of this trope than IRL, since it also aggressively pursues imperialistic goals in Latin America, causing the old US to grow more vigilant towards the Kaiserreich and approach the British Empire.
  • Saintly Church: The Red Trinitarian Ecumene evokes this. It was formed by pro-socialism parishes that espouse a radical interpretation of Catholic social doctrine and splits off from the Vatican after the Second American Revolution.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Essentially the reaction of the capitalist powers and President Herbert Hoover after the Socialists win the 1932 election. They soon find out that no, they don't make the rules.
    • The United Republics government subverts this, refusing to fill legislative seats with their own men after the Supreme Court rules against them, and refusing to kill Robert Taft in spite of his opposition. This dumbfounds a Soviet diplomat and pisses off Stalin to no end.
  • Second American Civil War: The Second American Civil War is fought in 1933 between the Government of National Salvation of Douglas MacArthur, who took power by overthrowing the Socialist President-Elect Norman Thomas in a Military Coup, and the Communist-dominated Popular Front. The war ends with the Red victory, leading to the establishment of the United Republics, the foremost Communist power along with the Soviet Union.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
    • One of the in-universe historical texts frames the Second Civil War and the American Socialist Revolution in this way, suggesting that in declaring the election that brought the Socialist Party to power to be void and seizing power by force against the will of the people, MacArthur and the other coup leaders ended up creating the very socialist uprising and revolution that they were afraid would overthrow them in the first place.
    • A similar situation happens in Peru in early January of 1935, when the ruling autocrat Óscar R. Benavides attempts a pre-emptive strike against a possible revolution by attempt to crack down on the local socialist parties and trade unions. But American and Chilean intelligence manages to catch wind of his plans and warns said parties and unions of the incoming attack. Prepared for his attack, the Peruvian left wing is able to counterattack Benavides' forces when they make their move, starting the revolution Benavides thought he could prevent.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran:
    • George Patton. No, really; in this timeline the US ends up entering the First World War two years earlier and fighting in some of the bloodiest battles, taking much heavier losses. And Old Blood and Guts himself was on the frontline for them. He may not have developed full-blown PTSD, but he came home a greatly changed man, and very bitter towards the politicians who'd sent a million of his comrades-in-arms to their deaths for no particularly good reason.
    • Janey Schaefer, one of the few direct POV characters and an officer who fought in World War II, is quite self-aware about the fact that she is struggling with some degree of Survivor's Guilt and associated traumas after coming home from the Eastern front.
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: Much in OTL, the Battle of Stalingrad becomes a defining moment of World War II as it ultimately ends in a humiliating defeat for the up-until-that-point advancing Wehrmacht. Despite mustering up a truly massive force to take the city, the combined American and Russian forces not only manage to hold their ground, but even pull off a massive counterattack in the immediate aftermath, that sends the Axis forces into a mad dash retreat for hundreds of kilometers. It is the moment that completely breaks any illusion the Nazis, and by extension the Axis, might have had of invulnerability, and marks the beginning of the end of their attempt to Take Over the World.
  • Shout-Out:
    • An in-universe TL was titled Mande Rising.
    • The running mate for Huey Long during the 1932 election is Princeton University President Henry Jones Sr. Meanwhile, the candidates from the Prohibition Party in the same elections are Don Keyhote and Sam Chopanzo.
    • The video game reviewer Gameunist Manifesto who makes a video about the game set during the Soviet invasion in Romania, is based on Jim Sterling.
  • Show Within a Show: While a lot of these exist, the most prominent and frequently returned to an example is Amanda Waver's constructed mythology/superhero setting for the new Red America, featuring Amanda Aaron; who has the alias Commander Columbia when she assumes the aspect of "the new, proletarian Jupiter."
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: President-Elect Norman Thomas makes a valiant, but doomed attempt at convincing the men who has come to kill him as a part of the large-scale coup against the incoming Socialist government, that their actions are only going to have the opposite effect of what they are hoping to achieve:
    Norman Thomas: Think very hard about what you are doing, son. Once you go down this road, there is no going back. This sets a precedent that will cast a pall over this country for a century. You think what you are doing is going to save the country, to save liberty, but you are the ones murdering them.
    Lt. John C. Williams: (pistol-whips Thomas) Shut up, you Red bastard!
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: A very dark version with JFK and his brother Joe Kennedy. One rejects his family and becomes a revolutionary hero, renaming himself Sean Cinnéide, the other rejects his family and becomes an SS officer... And then there is Robert Kennedy, who becomes the reformist President of Americuba after MacArthur's death.
  • Spared By Adaptation:
    • Nicholas II's family and Admiral Alexander Kolchak went to exile to Sweden, avoiding their OTL fate.
    • John "Jack" Reed avoids his death from typhus in Moscow in 1920, eventually becoming a foreign secretary of UASR and even the Premier during WWII.
    • Mikhail Frunze, a famed Bolshevik general, recovers from his illness and later plays a major role in WWII. After the war, he becomes the frontman of the leftist Internationalist opposition to Molotov.
    • All the victims of the sinking of the RMS Titanic count, as the ship never strikes the infamous iceberg and thus reaches New York City in its fated maiden voyage. This also saves the White Star Line down the line and it eventually builts a thousand-foot long ocean liner in the late period of The Roaring '20s.
  • State Sec:
    • Played painfully straight with UASR's version of this, which known under the formal name of Main Directorate for State Security or the MDSS, but most people simply call them by StateSec. They are somewhat less sinister than most examples of the trope, however, being something more akin to the FBI.
    • The Green Guard of Brazil is a terrifyingly insane one. Described as green-uniformed soldiers who wear metal cuirasses at the very least as well as dehumanizing face-concealing masks (which are often gas masks), the Green Guard is a borderline militarized cult of Brazil, Integralism, the Green Guard's leaders, and Salgado and is noted to be Ultracatholic. They speak their own internal constructed language to prevent outsiders from determining what they're saying and not only don't hesitate to commit atrocities but seem to revel in them. Though at first starting out as a loose cannon political elite, they do become an actual military elite known for fearlessness and skill in battle. Somewhat subverted though, as the war turns against Brazil and the Green Guard's ranks are continually expanded, the Guard is increasingly filled with scared and frightened children abused into committing atrocities as part of the Guard's hazing rituals and their skills slip back into cannon fodder levels while their habit of war crimes starts to backfire. Fights become one to the death as people recognize the futility of surrendering to them, and they've committed perfidy far too many times for people to feel like risking death in case they try to pull an I Surrender, Suckers and the Guard by the end of the war is a decrepit shell. Huge swathes of the guard desert when a fake intelligence leak is given that claims the Comintern will kill any Green Guardsman who doesn't desert or renounce the Integralist regime and its last diehards gather for a final suicide attack against Communist forces in Uruguay so that they can die on the battlefield rather than face war crime trials.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The United States undergoing a successful communist revolution is understood as being this both in and outside the story. Due to its vast resources, high rate of industrialization, advanced agriculture, and large scientific community, the United Republic has none of the economic disadvantages of real-life communist states.
  • Take a Third Option: The Vatican opposes the new regime as godless, and orders the Catholic priests in America to either disavow the UASR or be excommunicated. Some Catholics instead form their own church.
  • Tank Goodness: To be found in abundance in the timeline! Thanks to the lessons of the Second American Civil War and an earlier end to the Great Depression and earlier re-armament, tank design takes some divergences from our timeline and the vehicles used in Reds! are generally a bit farther "ahead" than our timeline in terms of design. Reforms to the production systems of the Axis powers and Western European investment into any possible allies against a Red America as well as Soviet-American cooperation and investment into Red Latin America and China also mean that rather more tanks are produced in this timeline than in ours. Germany's notoriously inefficient flexible line production systems are replaced with modern Ford-style assembly lines able to roll out tanks by the tens of thousands to fight the more militarised British Empire and its allies to the west and the Comintern to the East while Italian, Swedish, British, Japanese, and French tank programs make more progress than in our timeline. Perhaps the most grandiose statements of this revealed so far are the German Panzer 100 Smilodon, the United Republics TD-21 Spartacus, the Soviet Vladimir Lenin 3, and the British Chamberlain Heavy Tank.
    • In the Cold War, by the mid-2010s the Franco-British Union unveils its newest "advanced" battle tank, the Champion; a tank weighing over one hundred tons with a seven-inch caliber gun and an engine with 3000 or so horsepower. Yikes!
  • Token Evil Teammate: George Orwell believes William Z. Foster and Earl Browder are this to the United Republics. From what we know they are both noticeably more purge-happy and power-hungry than many of the other government officials in America.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Janey and Anna, respectively, from the alternate history timeline equivalent of a Lower-Deck Episode.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Inherent with the framing devices. The presented sections of history books, journals, academic papers, tabloid articles, and armchair discussions by alternate history enthusiasts come from a very diverse variety of perspectives, and each presents an understandably biased picture.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Richard Finlay, the corporate founder of Maggie Pie (this timeline's version of McDonald's), despite running a successful fastfood company, had some traces of it. Some of his children relates in a biography that they, much to their disquiet, realized that their father, despite his interest in films, and even buying a film company, actually didn't know the difference between film making and film distrubtion (in fact, he got extremely angry and argumentative when his new employees from said film company tried to explain the difference to him).
  • Utopia: Deconstructed. Is life in the United Republics better? Perhaps. Is it very different? Absolutely. The authors seem to take a subjective approach. While Communism is often seen as a utopian ideology, and the UASR has many of the facets of utopia (free love, classless society, great freedoms), this comes at a cost that people socialized to live in a capitalist democratic republic might find quite uncomfortable, such as very great social pressures to participate in political and social life and other duties that don't gel well with an individualistic society. The cultural and social values that developed over a century of tremendous divergence, revolution, and the like are very much alien.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Salgado goes bonkers as the tide turns against him. At one point, he strangles one of his Marshals to death in front of his staff for withholding important information. He goes into another unhinged rant when he realizes one of his abused aides poisoned him .
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • Subverted; both during the Civil War and the Cultural Revolution, the American socialist system's greater flexibility in dealing with ideological differences (both within the socialist parties themselves and in allowing the inclusion of right-leaning Democrats and Republicans who opposed the Junta into the political process) ultimately proves more durable than the Soviet system's rigid ideological inflexibility.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Practically the whole cast is made up of this. It's also generally an audience reaction since most of those individuals are not considered extremists in-universe.


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