In fiction, the USA sometimes gets split up into several successor states, whereas at other times it might get invaded by one or more other powers. And sometimes, it even falls from power. This trope, however, reverses the common factor between the aforementioned three cases (that is, the USA being "weakened"), and instead makes it more... empowered. That is, the USA gains more territory (and more often than not turns those acquisitions into new states).
The trope has four distinct flavors:
- The standard Expanded States of America has the USA be more aggressive, and use its military might (or subtle politics/diplomacy, whichever works) to annex at least parts of one or more bordering countries on the North American continent — meaning Canada, Mexico, Central America, and/or a Caribbean island nation — as additional states, if not take over said countries outright; more extreme examples of this kind have the US evolve into what is essentially United States of North America (depending on one's definition of "North America").
- The more "subdued" brother, 50+ States of America, has one or more of the handful of Real Life non-state subdivisions of the USA (e.g. Puerto Rico) be turned into a full-fledged state, or one or more states being re-partitioned into a different combinationnote .
- United States Of Both Americas, where the USA has united North America and South America (or at least all of the major states and most of the smaller ones) under its banner. The resulting superstate may or may not suffer from recurrent rebellions due to social and economic inequality being imposed by "the rich North/'Anglos'" on "the poor South/'Latinos'".
- Transcontinental American Empire, where the USA annexes (parts of) countries beyond the American geographic region. A common trope is having the British Isles as one subject of annexation, being often utilized by British and American writers in reference to the cultural influence of America over Britain. America Takes Over the World is the Logical Extreme of this and has its very own trope page.
Usually, but not always, the resultant superstate would go under a name that is a variation on "United States of America".
See also Space-Filling Empire. Compare with United Europe and Middle Eastern Coalition. Contrast with Divided States of America and Invaded States of America, and sometimes with Oppressive States of America and/or Fallen States of America — although in the latter case, the US can join Canada or Mexico because it needs to out of weakness (e.g. it became a Vestigial Empire), and thus the trope can actually overlap with this one.
Sometimes this overlaps with Fictional Province when completely fictional states join the union or are carved out of existing ones.
Notes: This trope does not cover alternate versions of the British Empire that do not lose the American colonies in a War of American Revolution. That means cases like the Holy Britannian Empire of Code Geass do not count as examples.
- In We Stand on Guard, the US invades and occupies Canada in 2112 after the White House is destroyed.
- In The Trojan Horse, a Canadian made-for-TV movie starring Paul Gross, Canadians vote to join the United States. Their territory becomes six new states, and Canada's former prime minister (Gross) becomes eligible to run for President of the United States, since, like the first 9 Presidents, he was born in a territory that later became a state.
- The 1926 silent Colombian film Garras de Oro (Golden Claws) is about a very evil USA taking over Panama from Colombia and thus is considered the first anti-imperialist film.
- A subtle case: in 1953's Project Moonbase, the two US Space Force orbital shuttles we see in far-off 1970 are named "Canada" and "Mexico." It would be deeply odd to name your military-operated spacecraft after foreign countries.
- Harry Turtledove's Alternate History Timeline-191 series mixes this with Divided States of America in interesting ways: The United States as we know it now is split between the United States and the Confederate States of America, but both expand into non-US territory on the American continent. The USA annexes most of Canada (minus Quebec, which becomes its own puppet state) after the World War I analogue, while the CSA owns Cuba and two Mexican states. At the end of the series, the Union finally reconquers the Confederacy and takes all their new territory with it, meaning that the US now extends from Canada into real-world Mexico and the Caribbean.
- The United States in Julian Comstock stretches from as far north as Canada to as far as Panama in the south. By that point, however, the US had long evolved into something that neither the Founding Fathers nor a modern-day American would find very recognizable.
- Tom Kratman's Caliphate has a much more militarily aggressive United States take over most of Canada under the leadership of President Buckman, ultimately becoming the Imperial States of America by the time of the book's primary setting.
- S.M. Stirling's The Draka series is chock full of superstates like this, the US included. Since Canada did not benefit from a large population boost following the American Revolution, it fell to the US invasion of 1812. Since they were free states, the slave-owning southerners lobbied for full annexation after the Mexican War. William Walker succeeded in establishing a Central American empire, which was then annexed along with Cuba, the rest of the Caribbean, and the Philippines. In a similar vein, The Grand Republic of Colombia (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, northern Peru, and northwest Brazil) never broke up, nor the Empire of Brazil (Brazil & Uruguay), so South America is comprised of just 4 nations. Africa and the Mideast are likewise unified, but as a brutal slaveocracy under the boot heel of the eponymous Draka.
- In Taylor Caldwell's The Devil's Advocate, the totalitarian Democracy of America has overrun Canada and Mexico ten years before, apparently because they could.
- In Night Probe by Clive Cussler, a major component of the plot is centered around a fictional agreement signed between Canada and the United States in 1916 which would officially unite the two countries, making the Canadian provinces into additional American states. In the story, it was more or less ignored after both physical copies of the agreement — and about half the people who knew about it — were lost simultaneously due to an unrelated train hijacking and passenger ship crash. Supposedly, the novel ends with one of the copies being recovered and the agreement retroactively enforced, but later books in the same continuity more or less ignore that development.
- FTL Newsfeed, the 2142-set newscast, is broadcast from the North American Union. The NAU flag is the stars-and-stripes with the stars replaced by a maple leaf.
- In Shadowrun, the North American map has been considerably redrawn, but the UCAS (United Canadian and American States) is politically and economically the most powerful successor state. It's an amalgam of the northeastern USA and eastern Canada, notably not including Quebec. However, they've lost everything west of Denver or south of St. Louis to various other interests, among them the Confederation of American States (CAS), so this is actually a zig-zag blend between this trope and Divided States of America, with Invaded States of America coming into play when Aztlan (formerly Mexico) eventually invades both California and Texas, gaining some territory but failing to annex either. Of course since Califonia is an independent nation and Texas is part of the CAS, this may be a subversion.
- In Steve Jackson Games' OGRE, the North American Combined States (a.k.a. the "Combine") includes everything from Canada south to Panama, with the rest of the hemisphere mostly comprising puppet governments.
- In the Fallout series, it's mentioned that the US annexed Canada shortly before the Great War, and had a military presence in Mexico, ostensibly to protect its oil interests in the region.
- UFO: Alien Invasion includes the United States, Canada, and Mexico as part of a "United America" (the name used in-game, not the trope distinction) as part of its general trend of lumping all future nations into Space Filling Empires.
- In Meet the Robinsons, time-traveler Lewis tries to pass himself off as a foreign exchange student from Canada. Apparently, by 2037, it's a state called "North Montana."
- The United States, when it gained legal recognition by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, consisted of that portion of the modern lower 48 states east of the Mississippi River, minus Florida and the Gulf coast. It stayed that way for twenty years. Then, over a period of 45 years in the early 19th century, "Manifest Destiny" came into being and this trope was executed in Real Life.
- Thomas Jefferson pulled off the land deal of the millennium when he bought the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. This acquired for the United States the western half of the Mississippi River watershed, doubling the size of the country.note
- The Republic of West Florida was annexed in 1809.
- Florida and the Gulf coast east of the Mississippi River were purchased from Spain in 1819.
- The Republic of Texas, which had been an independent nation since 1836 after winning independence from Mexico, was annexed by the United States in 1845.
- The Oregon Territory was divided between Britain and the United States in 1846, with the northern portion becoming British Columbia and the southern portion (modern-day Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and western Montana) going to the United States. This expanded the USA to the Pacific Coast.
- The United States at the same time launched the Mexican-American War, which resulted in victory for the United States and the annexation of a huge chunk of land that now makes up the American Southwest. For a while, the U.S. was considering annexing all of Mexico; both the hypothetical annexation and the actual land gained stirred a lot of controversy in regards to how it would affect the balance between free and slave states. See also Mexico Called; They Want Texas Back.
- The outline of the Lower 48 was completed in 1853 with the Gadsden Purchase, a slice of southern Arizona and New Mexico bought from Mexico to allow for the construction of a transcontinental railroad.
- The size of the United States was increased some 20% in 1867 when the Russians, believing their territory in Alaska to no longer be economically productive, sold Alaska to the United States. In part because Russia was on rather good terms with the US at the time, and in part simply to spite Britain, which it had lost the Crimean War to a few years prior.
- The last of what is now the fifty United States was acquired in 1898, when the USA annexed the independent nation of Hawaii, three years after American plantation owners in Hawaii overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy.
- Leading up to the American Civil War, many plans for southern expansion were considered, and some even initiated. President Polk authorized spending up to $100M on Cuba, and a small force of Confederate officers were sent to the Amazon delta to assess resources and potential resistance to a Confederate invasion (they claimed that they were mapping shipping routes).
- There were several attempts through history to get parts or all of Canada to join the Union, either by force or by diplomacy (for instance, the organizers of the Continental Congresses sent invitations to Nova Scotia and Canada, and were quite surprised by Canada's lack of interest), but all serious attempts essentially ended shortly after the War of 1812, although some in areas like Alberta and Nova Scotia have occasionally semi-seriously floated the idea, especially back when it looked like Quebec might break away from Canada.
- Prince Edward Island balked at the terms of the Canadian Confederation of 1867, declined to join the new nation formed by the Confederation, and entertained offers from the United States before a sweetened offer led to P.E.I. joining Canada in 1873.
- A little known fact is that the United States actually invaded Canada (then, the Province of Quebec) during the Revolutionary War and one of the commanding officers of the invasion was future Turncoat Benedict Arnold. The invasion was a failure. Later, at the Paris Peace Conference, the United States attempted to sue for the entire Province, but the British refused (though initially they did agree to hand it all over). They did, however, give the U.S. the southern part of the province, which subsequently became the Northwest Territory.
- Honestly, the American Revolution could potentially be a point of expansion in several ways for America. Bermuda was heavily pro-American at the beginning of the conflict, so much so that if it had been closer to the mainland, it may have joined the rebellion. Also, Nassau, the current capital of the Bahamas was occupied by America briefly, then it fell to the Spanish, who gave the Bahamas back to Britain in the subsequent treaty. Had the Americans remained, or Spain kept it with Florida, they may have fallen to American control eventually.
- Shortly after the civil war ended, Congressman Nathaniel Prentice Banks introduced the Annexation Bill of 1866, which would have authorized the U.S. president to, subject to a future agreement with colonies of British North America, annex British North America and turn it into a series of states and territories, buy the lands still under the control of the Hudson Bay Company, and lavish the colonial territories with money for infrastructure improvements, along with subsidies, and assume their debts. The bill received no serious contemplation in Washington and was never even voted upon in the House of Representatives (it never even reached the Senate). It was mainly introduced to appeal to Irish Americans, many of whom supported the Fenians (Irish Nationalists who desired an independent Irish state). How the bill would have been received had the U.S. seriously pursued it is anyone's guess.
- The last "official" attempt by America at gaining Canada was the so-called Alabama Claims, a series of claims the U.S. held against the British for their allowance of Confederate agents to purchase unfitted warships which the Confederacy later used to raid and attack Union merchant shipping. One of the key things demanded in exchange for dropping the claims was all or part of Canada (Secretary of State William Seward, who had just bought Alaska, personally favored annexing British Columbia). This fell through due to a number of factors, and the matter was settled via arbitration.
- In 1948, shortly before the Dominion of Newfoundland unified with Canada to become the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, a significant portion of Newfoundlanders advocated instead becoming the 49th state of the United Statesnote , as US military bases established there during World War II had created a positive impression and the large influx of money had revived the island's economy. The UK and Canada didn't appreciate this idea and were able to satisfy US interests by guaranteeing that Canada would allow the US bases to remain.note Joining the US was therefore not an option on the July 22, 1948 referendum, and a narrow majority voted to join Canada instead of remaining a separate Dominion.
- Both the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 and the construction of the Alaska Highway in 1940-42 prompted discussions within the U.S. government and the public about the purchase of British Columbia.
- In 1869 the Dominican Republic, then known as "Santo Domingo", entered into a treaty of annexation with the United States. Santo Domingo would have become a territory of the United States with the possibility of statehood to come. The treaty was rejected by the United States Senate on a 28-28 vote (not as close as it sounds, because treaties require 2/3 Senate majorities for ratification).
- Lest we forget USA taking Panama from Colombia in 1903, in order to finalize the construction of the Panama Canal.
- One of the more recent attempts to expand by the United States was, in 1946, their attempt to annex Greenland for military purposes from Denmark. The United States offered $100 million (in 1946 dollars) for the entire area, but Denmark refused (although they did agree to allow the U.S. to build an Air Force base in the territory). The idea has come up a few more times since, with the same results.
- While the Gadsden purchase, as eventually agreed upon, added a generally negligible amount of territory to the Union, originally, it had been envisioned as being much larger. This guided a creation of one of the "packages" presented to then Mexican president Santa Ana, a $50 million (around $1.4 billion today) deal, including at least the entirety of the Baja California peninsula, and most of the modern Mexican states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. This was opposed by, of course, most Mexicans, and anti-slavery senators in the north, who saw this deal as nothing more than acquiring more slavery territory for the south, much like how the Mexican Cession itself had been viewed. Santa Ana ended up going with the much smaller $15 million ($430,000,000 today) package that sold the U.S. 38,000 square miles (98,000 km2) of desert, the minimum territory necessary for a southern railroad. In the end, due to northern intransigence over the slavery issue, the U.S. didn't even get that, cutting the territory acquired in the final treaty down by about 9,000 miles, and dropping the price to $10 million.
- At the height of the Mexican-American War, the Republic of Yucatan was still formally independent from Mexico after declaring its independence in 1841. The U.S. government, however, treated the Yucatan as being part of Mexico and blockaded the nascent state. With America's blockade, no international support (even after offering its sovereignty), the ongoing Mayan uprising known as the Caste War, and the continuing chaos in Mexico, the Yucatan government, in desperation, openly requested annexation to the United States. U.S. President James K. Polk loved the idea, as did American expansionists, and the "Yucatan Bill" actually passed the House of Representatives, but it failed in the Senate, due to Congress's hesitance to commit to a war against the natives with a war in Mexico ongoing. After the Mayan insurrection was put down, the Yucatan Republic eventually agreed to re-confederate with Mexico.
- Taiwan had been a potential target of American annexation for a small period of time during the Qing dynasty era. Two American diplomats recommended that the U.S. annex Taiwan (then commonly known as Formosa) from Qing Dynasty China, mostly because it was believed that the British were also interested in the island, but the idea was rejected rather firmly by the American government. Commodore Matthew C. Perry, during his second voyage to open Japan in 1854, landed in Keelung, a major port on Taiwan. In his reports back to the government, Perry encouraged the annexation of Taiwan in order to use it as a coaling port, and because of its usefulness in countering European monopolization of the trade routes. The U.S. failed to respond to his proposal to claim sovereignty over Formosa. Ironically enough, there is a small contingent of people on Taiwan today, represented mostly by the Taiwan Civil Society, who claim that Taiwan is, legally U.S. Territory as it was never (technically) turned over to official Chinese control by the Treaty of San Francisco (the final peace treaty that marked the end of the war against Japan), nor was it turned over subsequently by any American government in any legal agreement, thus, they contend, Taiwan is still legally under military occupation by the U.S. (as the principal occupying power, with the Republic of China as a subordinate occupying power), with the Republic of China (which fled to the Island in 1949) essentially a government in exile. The PRC rejects this argument as they weren't a party to the Treaty of San Francisco and thus said treaty is non-binding to them.
Films — Live-Action
- In Brewster's Millions (1985), a reference is made to the title character purchasing advertising for his political campaign in "all fifty-two states." No further reference to this is made, nor is there any hint as to the identities of the additional states.
- While not an example of territories being made states, Jon Stewart's America (The Book) does claim that one of the possibilities of the massive influx of Hispanic immigrants is the creation of new states from bits and pieces of existing ones in order to consolidate white power, such as the unification of Manhattan and Westchester into Manhattachester and the creation of a third Dakota. The total number is mentioned to be 81.
- In David Brin's Existence the United States has sixty-two states. One of them is Panhandle, formed from the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles.
- In John Brunner's "Stand on Zanzibar" the Philippines has been added under the name 'Isola'.
- Kentucky Fried Politics has Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico become official states in the Union under the administration of Jesse Jackson.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Royale," a US flag with 52 stars dates the wreckage of an old NASA mission found by the Enterprise to some time between 2033 and 2079. No canonical explanation for the identity of the two extra states was given.
- In Transhuman Space there are 60 states by the year 2100. Puerto Rico and Guam have been admitted as states. Cibola split off from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah as a Native American-majority state. Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York City, Greater San Fran, San Diego, and Seattle-Tacoma have become autonomous city-states. While American Mars constitutes a commonwealth territory like 20th century Puerto Rico.
- In this strip of Times Like This, the 2032 election map shows that Puerto Rico and Guam have been admitted as states.
- U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico are legally entitled to apply for statehood if their citizens should vote to do. As yet, the advantages of territorial status have outweighed those of statehood for most voters; the only place where it might realistically happen is Puerto Rico — during the November 2012 voting, 54% of the population voted for statehoodnote . The U.S. Democratic and Republican parties have stated they will honor Puerto Rico's decision. 2017 saw another referendum that had 97% approval for statehood... but only 23% voter turnout due to a boycott by the opposition parties. A scheduled 2020 referendum hoped to settle the issue definitively, by being a simple yes or no vote on statehood without regard to any other alternative options. The final vote was 52% in favor while 47% against but this depends on what happens to control of Congress in 2021.
- Texas had the opportunity to join the U.S. as five states when it was annexed (Texas was far bigger than any existing state, and many thought that no one state should be that big), although this was not exercised. While this would've actually conferred greater political influence (each of the five would've gotten 2 Senators, dramatically shifting the Senate's balance of power), Texans had already formed a unified identity that they didn't want to give up.
- Michigan's Upper Peninsula has occasionally made noises about wanting to split from the Lower Peninsula and become a state by the name of Superior. This is usually just an attempt to attract attention to the UP's problems; people making these calls are fully aware that the chances are low (not least because the UP has only half the population of Wyoming, the least populous state).
- There have also been suggestions that Eastern Washington split off to become its own state, motivated mostly by the fact that Eastern Washington is mostly conservative, while Western Washington is mostly liberal, but dominates state politics thanks to a larger population. The other proposal that gets floated is attaching Eastern Washington to Idaho, which is seen as more plausible on a population basis (Eastern Washington contains just over a fifth of Washington's population, but if merged with Idaho would make up almost half of the new state's population) and because it wouldn't create any new US Senate seats, thus making it a more politically neutral outcome.
- There were two efforts to form the state of Franklin (named after Benjamin Franklin, in an effort to gain his support for the first attempt) out of what are now the 12 easternmost counties of Tennessee. Initially in 1784, when all of what's now Tennessee was part of North Carolina (and consisted of only 8 counties, though covering the same land), they declared secession from North Carolina and petitioned Congress the next year for statehood. Franklin's "secession" was initially ignored and eventually ended by force. In the 1840s, after Tennessee had been established as a state, there was an attempt to revive the idea on the basis that East Tennessee was culturally and politically incompatible with the rest of the state, but this time no actual attempt at unilateral secession happened. The name "State of Franklin" is still widely used in the region even in the 21st century, though. And during the Civil War, the counties of the former "Franklin" were central to an ultimately failed attempt by East Tennessee follow the example of West Virginia and break away to rejoin the Union as a new state.note
- The state of Jefferson, which would have incorporated territory in northern California and southern Oregonnote , came the closest to becoming the 49th state (making Alaska 50th and Hawaii 51st) and were ready to file the paperwork to get the ball rolling with Congress. Unfortunately, the date they chose to do this was December 8th, 1941, the day after some more pressing issues came up. By the time the dust had settled, the movement to form Jefferson had lost its support. While attempts have been made as recently as 2016 to revive the conceptnote , they've gained little traction and there's no longer any realistic prospect of the California and Oregon state governments agreeing to it.
- There have been several attempts to make the District of Columbia into a state, though these efforts have largely been stalled since the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment failed in 1985. Though the end effect would be the 51st state, proponents of this plan are primarily seeking representation in Congress over anything else, and some of them would be happy with an arrangement where the city's residents become voters in Maryland (the former section of DC on Virginia's side of the Potomac was already given back to Virginia as what are today Arlington County and parts of the city of Alexandria in 1846), although Maryland's Baltimore-based political alignment is opposed to a large non-Baltimore bloc joining their population. On a national level, Democrats tend to favor DC statehood (which would create two reliably liberal Senate seats) while Republicans tend to favor retrocession to Maryland (which would maintain the current balance in the Senate, only creating one safely blue House seat, possibly to be counterbalanced by a new House seat in reliably red Utah). One columnist in a local newspaper in Montgomery County, Maryland, upset that his county paid so much more in state taxes than it got back from the state, proposed that the county join the District in seeking statehood.
- One of the weird barriers against DC statehood is that the Constitution explicitly says that the national capital should be part of a "Federal District", and thus simply converting Washington, DC from a federal district to a state may be unconstitutional. In the 2020 statehood bill (the first such bill to pass the House), this was circumvented by creating a new federal district named "The Capital" whose territory is just a handful of major federal government buildings. The bill also declares that the new state would be called "Douglass Commonwealth", named after abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, so that the city (which constitutes the entirety of the state) would still be "Washington, DC". Most 20th century proposals called for the state to be named "New Columbia".
- Any state, with the consent of its own legislature and Congress, can change its borders or have new states carved out of it. (E.g., West Virginia.note )
- Various regions of New York State have argued for partition into new states, such as the secession of New York City and its suburbs as their own state separate from Upstate New York (one proposal said that they would remain "New York" while Upstate New York gets renamed "Buffalo"), the reverse secession of Upstate New York from New York City (with one proposal to become the state of Niagara), or Long Island (half of said suburbs) as its own state. The State Legislature has prevented these from going beyond being ideas due to issues over taxation or red/blue politics.
- During the local Colorado election in November of 2013, a vote was held to decide whether a few of the counties along the north-eastern part of the state would secede from Colorado and create the state of North Colorado. The vote was shot down with an overwhelming majority.note
- Venture capitalist Tim Draper has started a "Six Californias" initiative to try to get said state to divide itself into said number of states. He claims to have submitted a successful petition with over 1.3 million signatures to put the proposal on the ballot for 2016, though they are currently under review.
- This measure was criticized heavily for propagating income inequality ("Central California" would've been the poorest state in the nation, and "Silicon Valley" would've been the wealthiest). Logistically it would have been a nightmare, especially when it came to the UC system, and water distribution, so many Californians were against it. It did not become a ballot measure for 2016, in large part because the state ruled that only 66% of the votes for it were valid. Even if this had passed, Congress and the President would've had to sign off on it and that was extremely unlikely.
- It was also criticized heavily as a thinly-veiled attempt to gerrymander state borders, since, despite a large majority of Californians being Democrats, four out of the six new states created would have Republican majorities, since no effort was made to have the "Six Californias" be similar to each other in population size. He tried again with a proposal to split into only three Californias that would be of roughly similar population (North California and South California which are about what you'd expect, and a reduced "California" consisting of just Los Angeles and a few of the surrounding counties). This failed to qualify for the ballot in 2018, and polling showed Californians overwhelmingly opposed it.
- In Paper Empire, a quasi-official (Alan Moore approved it, and Marvel later confirmed its version of Captain Empire's real name) Captain Britain fancomic, Captain Empire's home reality of Earth-741 has a United American Republics, which seems to include at least the USA and unspecified chunks of South America (but not Canada, which is still part of the British Empire).
- According to production notes from Aliens all of North, South and Central America unite in a socioeconomic block known as The United Americas, in order to counter another major powerblock known as the Three World Empire (consisting of an union of Great Britain, Japan, and India which is also where Weyland-Yutani comes from). Though considering the United States Colonial Marines exists as a military unit within the United America's and they use the standard USA flag (as opposed to the United Americas flag which is based off the US Flag except only has one large star and has red stripes on both top and bottom) it can be assumed there's still some nominal independence within the organization.
- In the Alan Dean Foster novel The Mocking Program, the US has merged with several Central American countries to form a nation usually called "Namerica" (probably a contraction of North America). The story takes place mainly in the Montezuma Strip, which runs along the former US/Mexican border.
- In the early Lensman novels, North America is a single united nation, and the most powerful on Earth. Part of the climax of First Lensman is Rod Kinnison running for President of North America, in an election that obviously parallels those of the United States.
- Background materials for the Honor Harrington series establish that after western Europe, the next-largest source of the Manticore System's first wave of colonists from Old Earth was the North American Federation. The NAF's boundaries aren't specified, but presumably it consisted of the United States and Canada, quite probably as well as Mexico.
- Initially left as an Implied Trope in the Star Carrier series but later explained. The United States of North America is made up of the USA, Canada, Mexico, and several smaller countries (Guatemala is mentioned by name). At the same time, these nations retain a measure of autonomy, as several ships are mentioned to be Canadian or Mexican.
- In the fourth novel, Mexico and Honduras secede from the USNA, when the latter comes into armed conflict with the Confederation.
- In Mikhail Akhmanov's Arrivals from the Dark, it's briefly mentioned that the US is now called the USC (United States and Canada). How this is achieved is not explained, although it can be inferred that the unification was peaceful.
- From the Front Mission franchise, the United States of the New Continent, whose In-Universe abbreviation is "U.S.N.", is formed of the North and South America; the English-dubbed versions of the games (after Front Mission 4) rename it "United Continental States" (In-Universe abbr.: "U.C.S."). Suffers from continuous unrest due to economic disparity along North-South lines, frequently requiring quashing revolts with military force.
- In Halo, the USA, Canada, and Mexico all merged into the United Republic of North America.
- Destiny: Prior to the Collapse, the United States and Canada were a single, retro-nationalistic nation known as the North American Empire. However, the Empire is noted to have been more of a voluntary republic than a true government (it existed after humanity was hitting The Singularity and conventional nation-states had begun to dissolve), meaning its sovereignty was actually pretty limited.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has a relatively low-key example with the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations, usually just called "the Union", comprising all of North and South America, the Caribbean nations, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. There aren't a lot of details about the Union, but while the member states maintain at least some degree of autonomy, the Union President resides at the White House, and it's implied that the United States provides the bulk of the Union's military forces.
- Watchmen takes place in an Alternate History where the United States includes the 51st state of Vietnam... or at least speculation in the newspapers that such might happen in the near future. The TV series shows that indeed happened.
Films — Live-Action
- In Escape from L.A., Bangkok, Thailand (where Snake has been at some point between 1997 and 2013) is mentioned as being United States territory.
- In Americathon, Great Britain is mentioned as yet another of the (bankrupt) U.S. states.
- In the Alternate Timeline of C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America where the South won the Civil War, after annexing the Union and working to promote unity in the states, the Confederate States proceed to conquer all of Central and South America, including the Caribbean, leaving Canada the only land in the Americas not part of the C.S. empire. It then later conquered Japan during World War 2. Supplemental material suggests it also controls parts of Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
- Martin Smith's (before he started calling himself Martin Cruz Smith) The Indians Won mixes this with The Disunited States Of America. The no-longer contiguous US has an independent Indian Nation separating its two sections, but the Philippines and other Pacific islands, and possibly South Korea, are states.
- 1984: Zigzagged. In-universe, Goldstein's Book states that the superstate of Oceania, one of only three world powers, came about in the late 1940s when the United States merges with the British Empire. Of course, this is presumably before the Revolution. Oceania is officially not a continuation of the United States, and there is no indication that the Americas are more important than Britain, even though the latter's name has been changed to "Airstrip One". The Party's official ideology is called IngSoc in Newspeak, or English Socialism in Oldspeak (English). And while there are references to America on a couple occasions (mainly the bit with the photo of three Inner Party members from New York), Oceania doesn't seem to have a capital aside from some regional headquarters, and it's mentioned that it is specifically designed in such a way that no one place is considered the 'center' in order to prevent the perception that any given area is under foreign domination. However, the currency in Airstrip One is dollars and cents, and Oceania's anthem, Oceania 'Tis for Thee is a parody of an American patriotic song, My Country, 'Tis of Thee (itself the American lyrics to God Save The King). Finally, due to the state of information in the story, it is possible that Oceania is the entire world, and that the other superpowers are fictional, Oceania is only the former United Kingdom and it is like a quasi-North Korean state, or some other possibility.
- In Jennifer Government, the United States encompasses not only most of the Americas, but also the British Isles, South Africa, India, Japan, Indonesia, and Australia.
- Our Dumb Century takes the addition of Alaska and Hawaii in 1959 and turns it into "Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Bora Bora, Samoa, Philippines, Japan Granted U.S. Statehood"
Resource-Rich Territories to Become 49th Through 55th States.Brown-Skinned Natives to Contribute Taxes, Cheap Labor to U.S.
- The Saturday Night Live "TV Funhouse" cartoon "Saddam and Osama" (portraying Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden as the heroes of an '80s-esque action cartoon supposedly broadcast in the Middle East) has Dick Cheney mention that they're planning to rename Iraq "East Dakota".
- In a sketch on MADtv, a man woke up to discover that, while drunk, he had successfully run for president of the United States. During his drunken presidency, he had bullied Cuba, Saskatchewan, and Germany into becoming new states.
- An episode of The Goodies, America infects Britain with a virus that turns people into clowns, so they can turn it into a 53rd state.
- The Muse album The Resistance posits a "United States of Eurasia", where the US, Canada, Europe, and most of Asia are combined into one supernation
- In Calbear's The Anglo/American Nazi War , the Russian Far East becomes the US state of West Alaska. The Marianas islands later join as the 52nd state, while the Ogasawara Islands and Netherlands Antilles become territories and 99-year leases are closed on Okinawa and oil territory along the Persian Gulf.
- The 'Ameristralia' meme is about the USA and Australia joining as one nation, although it's not clear whether Australia's six states would join the USA's fifty states, or some other option is envisaged. This is probably because it's a joke and no one really cares.
- In The Red's Decisive Darkness, after the invasion of Japan, the United States annexes the Ryukyu Islands and southern Kyushu.
- SCP-1986 is an infinite tunnel containing books from many alternate realities. One of them is the second volume of the diary from Woodrow Wilson and his thoughts on various events during his term, one being the battle for Thailand's accession to statehood within the Imperial States of America.
- The The Simpsons episode "Future-Drama" has Bart's girlfriend Jenda mention the fifty-first state Saudi Israelia. A Flash Forward in "The Kid is All Right" had President Lisa Simpson considering making Afghanistan a state.
- This is actually the current state of the United States since 1898 when it formally annexed Hawaii. It also has several other overseas possessions, mainly in other parts of the Pacific.
- The fringe Expansionist Party of the United States coordinates sites of groups advocating statehood for Taiwan, Britain, Australia, Guyana, and many other places.
- A hilarious academic proposal by the American migrant to Australia David Moser was that Australia become the 51st state of the US, for the advantages of, among other things, being able to "have teams in the NBA (basketball), American League (baseball) and NFL (gridiron)", despite the fact that virtually no Australians follow baseball, or even understand or care about gridiron. note For a short time this was covered in the media and made waves on the internet.
- The Atlantic Federation from the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED universe. It is originally comprised the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, the UK, and Ireland. It later invades and annexes South America, which itself was its own superstate - the United States of South America (USSA). The USSA later regained its independence, with the exception of Central America, which remained a part of the Atlantic Federation.
- This crops up quite a lot in Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfiction, ranging from historic retellings of America gaining territory like Alaska and Hawaii, America taking in other countries until they can get back on their feet, political alliances, America having a well-meant but misguided desire to help other nations, or, in darker instances, America going insane and wanting more power.
- The United Americas from the Alien franchise, mentioned in Expanded Universe supplementary material. It comprises the two Americas plus the UK.
- The superstate of Oceania from 1984, encompassing the Americas, Britain (a.k.a. "Airstrip One"), Ireland, the Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, and southern Africa below the River Congo. Well, that what the Party claims. The only parts that we know are under the Party's control is "Airstrip One" (Britain); it's all too possible that the rest is just a propaganda sham, which is par for the course in this setting.
- In the Year 2889 by Jules Verne makes reference to "the hundred-starred flag of the Union", and it's later made clear that the United States has includes all of both Americas as well as Great Britain. (In fact, it's implied that there are only five countries in the world: the United States, France, Russia, China, and Australia.)
- In the Wild Cards'' universe, both Puerto Rico and Cuba are US states.
- RoboCop: The Series had mention of Newfoundland becoming the 53rd state. However, Puerto Rico isn't one of them as another episode mentions the government selling it to a company.
- In 2300 AD the USA has lost California to Mexico, and Texas has become independent. However Puerto Rico and the colony world of Ellis have been granted statehood, meaning that there are still 50 states (and stars on the US flag).
- The Infocom game A Mind Forever Voyaging is set in the USNA, but it's never made explicitly clear what caused the change.
- Hearts of Iron has the Armageddon campaign that portrays an alternate universe where the United States forfeited the Civil War in order to shift their focus on their war on Canada which they succeeded in resulting them to change their name to the United States of North America. Of course, since this is a strategy game, this can be expanded into the other flavors listed on this page.
- All of North America unites in Mass Effect, forming the United North American States. It's stated in the backstory that the decision to do this triggered a Second American Civil War in 2096 (which led to the destruction of the Statue of Liberty, incidentally). Interestingly, and perhaps due to the relatively recent unification of North America in the franchise's lore, people in the UNAS seem to retain modern regional identities. A Vancouver-born character for instance identifies himself as Canadian on multiple occasions in Mass Effect 3, and Flavor Text refers "Mexican" and "American" corporations that exist in the game's world.
- The alternate history series Decades of Darkness has an American Empire in all but name. Most of, but not all, of the traditional states are present, albeit some with different names and boundaries. They have also acquired/conquered Mexico, most Caribbean islands, and Central America and divided the territory into new American states. And finally, there is a lone American colony in West Africa. Subtracted from this is most of real-world New England (and New York), which separated via secession just a few decades after the Revolution and later joined with Canada in a pro-British North American bloc.
- Later on the USA also conquers Colombia, Peru, Chile, and parts of Brazil and lays claim to an Antarctic territory. This coupled with their earlier acquisition of Alaska from Canada means that the USA now claims to stretch not just "From Sea to Shining Sea", but also "From Pole to Frozen Pole".
- In America's Stepbrother, America's Enemy, the entire 2012 US is transported to the world of 1984. They decide to liberate the rest of the world from the totalitarian superstates, but they allow the countries they liberate to rule themselves, but many of them vote to join the United States. These include Canada, Mexico and a few Caribbean Islands.
- In Second Renaissance, the US annexes Canada due to Quebec seceding, and since climate change was screwing the tundras up, the First Nations left. This led the United States to annex Canada after World War III, but this later leads to the entire United States to annex all of the Anglosphere, leading to Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand to be annexed due to harsh climate change going on. Eventually the Third Mexican-American War, leads to a global devastating war that leads to the US not only annexing Mexico but all the damn world. Talk about a happy ending........
Real Life (sort of)
- One of the long-term goals of the Confederacy following their victory in the American Civil War was to aggressively expand into Central and Southern America. They got hung up on the step before that, though.
- There's a conspiracy theory that there is a plan to merge the US, Canada, and Mexico into the North American Union, analogous to the EU. It's unclear how much truth there is to this plan in the halls of power, though given the nature of the US Constitution, it would be far easier for Canada and/or Mexico to apply for statehood than it would be to form a superstate.note Additionally, it is arguable how much the EU, or something like it, counts as a "state"note note . One of the more bizarre elements of this conspiracy theory was the claim that a new currency called the "Amero" would be established. Even though the US and Canada both call their currency the dollar, and Mexico's currency is the peso (while not directly translating to English as "dollar", the term "peso" has the same historical origin in the Spanish 8-real silver coin which was known in English as the "Spanish dollar"). Thus if such a merged currency ever happened it would almost certainly just be called "dollar" in English and "peso" in Spanish, rather than a transparent knock-off of the EU's Euro currency.