Alternative History
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United States of America
American Provisional Administration in Canberra
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday
Flag of the United States.svg
Flag of the USA
Language English
Capital Canberra
Establishment 8 May 1984
Dissolution 1 May 1995 (declared)
March-April 1996 (office dissolved)
President George H.W. Bush
Population approx. 20,000 (Australia & NZ)
50,000 (Hawaii)
120,000 (Alaska)
70,000 (Micronesia)
40,000 (Samoa)
40,000 (Marshall Islands)
Currency Australian dollar ($)

The American Provisional Administration was a government-in-exile established after the mainland United States was deemed uninhabitable and ungovernable.


President Reagan

On April 23rd, 1984, US President Ronald Reagan gave the order that he and Vice President George H.W. Bush should be evacuated from North America due to a complete breakdown in civil order and a debilitating lack of supplies. They were to be flown from their separate facilities - Reagan from Mount Weather and Bush from Greenbriar - to take refuge in the US's strongest surviving ally, Australia. Reagan and Bush left the US on May 5th, 1984. They met in person in Mexico City, where they were reunited with Bush's son George W. Bush and his family. They also made a decision to split the surviving Cabinet and other staff members between their two planes, as a security measure just in case something happened to either Air Force One or Air Force Two on the way to Australia. It would prove to be a very prudent decision.

Reagan landed safely at General Lyman Field near Hilo, Hawaii. There he briefly toured the last known functioning state in the US, under the iron rule of labor leader Louis Goldblatt. The conservative President was somewhat shocked at the Communistic turn Hawaii had taken, but he was glad that the islands were surviving.

Due to electro-magnetic interference and residual radiation left over from Doomsday, the President's plane became unresponsive to the pilot's controls and was horribly off course a few hours after leaving Hawaii. Running out of fuel and unable to land, the Boeing E-4 lost altitude and crashed into the South Pacific.

Vice President Bush reached Brisbane safely after stops in Mexico, Hawaii and Auckland, New Zealand. Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke welcomed Bush, but informed him that the RAAF had lost contact with Reagan's plane. After it became clear that Reagan's plane had not made it, Bush had a local Australian judge swear him in as President of the United States on May 8th. The American Provisional Administration was soon established in Canberra. Its goals were twofold: first, to garner intelligence on the situation, both in the US and across the world; and secondly, to provide cohesion for the community of American survivors.

President Bush

ANZUS and the Gathering Order

The USA was a government without a country, but it had one great asset: the United States military scattered across the world. In order to avoid future threats by third parties utilizing the superior US military technology, the already existing ANZUS defense pact between the United States, Australia and New Zealand was modified and extended in 1985. The most important part of the new agreement was that all remnants of the American and - as far as possible - the NATO Army, Navy and Air Force were immediately placed under corporate ANZUS command.

In the chaos and confusion after Doomsday, the newly sworn-in President George H.W. Bush made it a priority to project an image of calm and worked to make the American Provisional Administration a steady force to provide order to American survivors in the Pacific region.

So, on June 1st, the ANZUS Order 001/1985 was given by the joint ANZUS Head Command set up in Brisbane. This order – today famous as the "Gathering Order" - was sent to all reachable U.S. (and NATO) units. It ordered all units capable to do so to set course for Australian, New Zealand and Hawaiian waters. If this could not be realized, all surviving units in defined geographical areas were routed to the nearest suitable gathering point to which ANZUS supply convoys were sent. The first units to report were several nuclear submarines. They set course for ports in ANZUS territory.

Satellite communication proved impossible,so several scattered naval units reported slowly from the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They were ordered to assemble at several points considered suitable, mainly intact British, French and U.S. naval bases on remote islands. The bulk of the regrouping flotillas consisted of submarines, frigates and destroyers from NATO countries and remnants of American Carrier Groups. Civilian freighter convoys also gathered at the specified destinations.

On November 6th, the USS "Benjamin Franklin" (SSBN-640) became the fifth American nuclear submarine to arrive in ANZUS territory. Nearly out of food, the “Franklin” entered the harbor of Cairns.

On November 18th, a great relief accompanied the return of the American carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and a small accompanying fleet from the harbor of Papeete, Tahiti. It had been feared that all carrier groups had been destroyed by direct nuclear attacks. But by the good fortune of being in the Pacific, and some luck, the Vinson carrier group was not destroyed. After investigating the situation in Japan and Guam, the Vinson group eventually settled in the Marshall Islands before hearing a faint transmission about the Gathering Order. On December 8th the Vinson group arrived in Brisbane.

Keeping the Peace

Territory governed by the Provisional Administration as of 1990

The Provisional Administration kept its authority over surviving U.S. Insular Areas in the Pacific, namely American Samoa, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands. In theory, its authority also extended to Hawaii, but with the vastness of the ocean and the difficulty of maintaining control, Bush was content to let Governor Goldblatt maintain the islands in his own heavy-handed way. Alaska posed a similar problem as well, but again Bush was comfortable with allowing the emergency government to maintain control.

In 1987, however, Goldblatt was assassinated. Bush personally visited Hawaii months later and found the islands torn by civil war. The Australian and US troops accompanying him restored order, with the help of those federal troops still in Hawaii, most of whom rushed to join their Commander in Chief upon his arrival. The leader of one faction was the leading survivor of Hawaii's royal line, 23-year-old Andrew Piikoi Kawānanakoa. He ordered his supporters to lay down their arms and submit to US authority "for the good of our islands." A military committee responsible directly to the President was placed in charge of the state. A small detachment was also sent to Alaska where the APA took over control of the emergency state government.

Two years later the APA supervised Hawaii's first free elections since Doomsday. The Administration had become an important link between the American remnants and their ANZUS benefactors. For the next seven years Bush's government coordinate food and medical supplies shipped from Australia.

In 1991 the APA lent Australia the Franklin to conduct its famous mission of exploration and intelligence gathering. Hawaii was the natural starting and end point for this and subsequent voyages that explored the shattered west coast of the former USA. In 1992 the APA sponsored a mission to restore the LORAN radio navigation station on Marcus Island, a Japanese island 1800 km southeast of Tokyo that had been maintained by the US Coast Guard. The Coasties had left the station intact when they fled to Hawaii shortly after Doomsday. The refurbished Marcus station helped allow for modern navigation for reconnaissance voyages to Japan and East Asia.

The Crescent City Crisis

However, the APA would face a massive setback in 1993.

The American military had successfully set up a base in California, the first base on the US mainland since the formation of the American Provisional Administration. However, it was in a region of California that had fallen under the control of a group of raiders.

To be continued.

End of an Era

By 1994, it was becoming clear that the American Provisional Administration was beginning to outlive its usefulness. Although it maintained a strong government over areas of the Pacific, it maintained little to no control over the territory it claimed to govern in mainland North America. The former states of Alaska and Hawaii had begun acting independent of the Provisional Administration, often rejecting control outright on several different issues. Further more, the areas where it had governed had done so because of large scale Australian and New Zealand involvement. Some even began seeing these areas as subdivisions of Australia rather than the U.S government.

The Provisional American Administration formally ended on May 1st, 1995. President Bush, together with Prime Minister John Howard, issued a short statement to the American expatriates and forces in Australia, stating that it would be best if they "become part of the Australian life and culture". Bush went on to act as an adviser to Howard, primarily on development of Australian oil production in Indonesia. This marked the end of the 219–year-long history of the United States of America. However, one of the last acts of the APA was the Continuity Act, which prepared the way for a legitimate successor to take up the former superpower's mantle. The Act declared the United States' sovereignty and Constitution “temporarily suspended until a legitimate successor – continuing the US traditions of Freedom and Democracy - is elected by the American people”.

A successor emerged soon after, on August 15. Australia and New Zealand declared their formal unification as the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand" (commonly known as ANZC or ANZ). On the basis of a third ANZUS-Treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the APA, all military forces and material (ships, submarines, bases, personnel) that had reported to “the Gathering” were formally integrated into the ANZC military. The Carl Vinson would soon be rechristened as ANZS "Commonwealth" (CoCN-1), the new Flagship of the combined ANZ Navy.

The remaining territories under the Provisional Authority held a series of referenda to decide their future status and relationship with the ANZC. American Samoa, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands decided to be fully incorporated into the ANZC, while Hawaii and Alaska voted to become independent but associated territories. On January 20, 1996, the traditional swearing-in date of the old US government, Andrew I was crowned King of Hawaii and opened the First Congress of the Free State. This ended Hawaii's century of allegience to the US. On March 30 the ANZC formally annexed Samoa, Micronesia, and the Marshalls, and the Stars and Stripes were lowered on those islands for the last time. The remaining offices of the American Provisional Administration were absorbed into the ANZC bureaucracy shortly after.

Not all Americans were supportive of this arrangement. A group of American expatriates in Australia founded the Committee to Restore the United States of America in response.

A Dream Renewed

In 2010, the provisional United States government that had arisen in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains during the 1990's dropped the "provisional" label and declared itself the continuation of the original United States of America. The Congress of the new USA pointed out that the Continuity Act had declared the United States' sovereignty and Constitution “temporarily suspended until a legitimate successor – continuing the US traditions of Freedom and Democracy - is elected by the American people” The new USA's Congress and Presidents were elected by American citizens on American soil and followed the principles of the original USA, and was therefore the legitimate successor, they argued. Nevertheless, the new US government in Torrington wished no ill will towards the ANZC government, and thanked it for providing continuity for American survivors in the Pacific during the 80's and 90's. Now, however, the Torrington-based USA would work to gradually reunify the American territories and diaspora as much as it possibly could.

The Bush family in 2010, during the annual American Diaspora Convention at a ballroom in Canberra. During that year's convention, former President Bush expressed his excitement at hearing the news of the reborn USA. Bush is accompanied here by his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, as his son George W. Bush and daughter-in-law Laura Bush look on in the background.

President George H.W. Bush has since made statements in favor of American nationalism, pointing out that when he disbanded the APA in 1995, there didn't seem to be a hope of continuing the American tradition. Now that several American survivor communities had been confirmed to exist, most dramatically the new Torrington-based United States of America, Bush declared that he was "overjoyed to hear the news from Torrington. America lives again."

American survivor states

A partial listing of American successor states known in the early 21st century:

The largest and most prominent is the new United States of America, with its capitol in Torrington, Wyoming.

Also, Socialist Siberia controls some western parts of Alaska, the Republic of Victoria controls the northern coast of former Washington state and Assiniboia controls portions of the former states of North Dakota and Minnesota along the border with the former Manitoba and Ontario.

In the years since the end of the Provisional Authority, it came to light that the military personnel in the Caribbean disobeyed the "Gathering Order" and remained behind to aid surviving Americans in the region, in the process establishing the United States Atlantic Remnant in the US Virgin Islands. Meanwhile in the Midwest, a Provisional United States was declared in 1992 unbeknownst to the APA, with its capital at Torrington, Wyoming. A founding and dominant member of the North American Union, the PUS formally proclaimed itself the continuation of and legitimate successor to the original US in 2010 after contact was re-established with the outside world. The revelation of these developments, including the 2010 US Congressional Report on the Continuation of the US Government would not only send shock waves amongst the expatriates (and the CRUSA especially), but also the rest of the world at large.

Notable APA Personnel

See also