The Commonwealth of Great Britain, informally called just Great Britain, is a sovereign insular nation in the British Isles. It consists of a large island off the northwestern coast of continental Europe, separated from France by the English Channel, and a number of other islands and archipelagos surrounding it, including the Isle of Man, the Hebrides, and the Orkneys: to the west, it is separated from Ireland by the Irish Sea. The British colonial empire consists of several colonies in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
The current Commonwealth was established toward the end of the Great War, when German, French and Scandinavian forces begun to land on the British mainland after defeating its armies and navies in several war theatres across the war. In London, a city devastated by bombings and scarcity of resources, a popular insurrection led by Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists took the Parliament by storm and set up a new government just as the British authorities formally demanded a peace treaty to the Germans.
Great Britain has historically been one of the most important European superpowers, and its colonial empire was, at its height, the largest empire of history by area. While Great Britain can no longer lay such a claim, as many of its former colonies and territories were annexed by other nations or turned independent during the War, it still remains one of the powers of the Concert, with an empire extending to all continents of the world; also, it has always been one of the world's most important centres of science, art, culture, philosophy and literature.
The Great War began as what was substantially a skirmish between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, before becoming the most destructive conflict in history. The United Kingdom fought against Germany and her allies since the start of the conflict, sending troops to mainland Europe and all over the world. The real turning point of the war was the Russian Civil War, which started in 1917. The belligerent nations, all exhausted by the war and fearing the rise of a communist superpower at their doorsteps, agreed to a truce in order to pacify Russia, each of them secretly hoping to regain their strength and catching their enemies off guard.
During this period, the war still went on in several theatres across the world, as proxy conflicts and wars, while German, French, British and Scandinavian troops were engaged against revolutionary forces in Russia, helping the white troops led by Alexander Kolchak and Pyotr Wrangel retake control of the country. Less than ten years later, the truce was broken when German troops reacted to the dissolution of Austria-Hungary by occupying Austria without the knowledge or the consent of other European nations. The conflict was re-ignited, and German troops stormed through the French border.
The most important factor in deciding the war, however, was probably the fact that Britain was perceived now as weak and vulnerable. Many other rising powers in Europe and elsewhere sought to take a slice of the vast British empire. Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Japan and Spain all ally themselves with Germany, an entered the war against Britain when hostilities re-ignited: the Royal Navy, the most important British military asset, was defeated by the Japanese Imperial Navy and by a joint German-Scandinavian fleet in the Java Sea and in the North Sea respectively, thus cutting off mainland Britain from her empire. Meanwhile, France, Britain's last ally in Europe, was force to capitulate when Germany and her allies were finally able to break through the Maginot line and occupy the country. Soon afterward, German made landfall on Great Britain after Luftwaffe forces gained air superiority over the skies of England. As German troops were approaching London, the royal family remained trapped in the bunkers beneath the city, together with much of the government.
When the bombings stopped and German troops were encircling the city, an attempt was made to escort the royal family and the government (along with most of the food supplies that remained in the city) to a safer location. When this was discovered, a small riot ensued as the starved population attempted to seize the supplies: this escalated into a full coup d'état when the British Union of Fascists paramilitary force, the "Blackshirts", intervened on the side of the population. In the ensuing chaos, most of the royal family, including king George VI, were killed or taken prisoner. The BUF took control of the centre of London, and set up a new republican government drafting a new Instrument of Government, seeking the support of invading German forces to destroy loyalist resistance in other parts of the country. In a few weeks, all of Great Britain was under Mosley's control. Afterward, as the peace treaties were signed and the world maps were redrawn, the country was rebuilt, slowly recovering from the tragedies that the war caused: the Commonwealth of Nations was also created, defining the political relationships between Britain and her former colonies and dominions.
Government and Politics
Constitution and Laws
Great Britain is a fascist republic: the head of state is also the head of the British Union of Fascists, the Lord Protector Oswald Mosley, who is also the head of the Council of State, the Lord Protector's cabinet of ministers and main executive body. The Lord Protector is elected by vote of the Upper Council of the British Union of Fascists. Legislative power is the hands of a bicameral, triennial Parliament, divided into a House of Commons (consisting of deputies from the three constituent countries of the Commonwealth, its dependencies and its colonies) and a House of Corporations (consisting of representatives of branches of British trades and industries, called national councilors).
Great Britain is made up of three constituent countries, which have a certain degree of autonomy from the central government: these are England, Scotland and Wales. In addition, there are two dependencies, which are also autonomous but are less represented in the House of Commons, and several colonies: these are subdivided into Home Rule Colonies, which are self-governing territories and send representatives into the House of Commons, and Commonwealth Colonies, which are not self-governing, do not send representatives in the Parliament, and whose administration is directly in the hands of the Council of States and Minister of the Colonies. Finally, India is administered as a self-ruling country within the Commonwealth, despite not being a constituent country.
In Great Britain, there are a total of 3 constituent countries, 2 dependencies, 18 colonies, and one "Raj", comparable to other countries' colonial federations.
- British Antarctica
- Ellice Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Gilbert Islands
- Gold Coast
- British Guiana
- British Honduras
- Hong Kong
- Pitcairn Islands
- Sierra Leone
- South Georgia
Additionally, there are three countries (dubbed "Commonwealth Realms") which are not part of Great Britain, but recognize the British Lord Protector as the (purely ceremonial) head of state: these are Australia, Canada and New Zealand.