Niagara Falls, abbreviated as Niagara, is a multinational city-state made up of the twin cities of Niagara Falls on the former Ontario-New York border as well as surrounding regions from both states/provinces. Once a refugee slum, it is now the economic powerhouse of the Great Lakes Area. With a Greater Area population of about 657,990, it is one of the largest metropolitan areas in North America. It is also the capital of the United Communities, an international organization that originated in the Great Lakes.
Canadian Falls before Doomsday
The Niagara Falls area has seen continuous settlement since the 17th century, first by the Iroquois and then by Europeans who were drawn to the immense falls. Louis Hennepin, a French priest, is regarded as the first European to visit the area in the 1670s. Tourism started in the early 19th century and has been a vital part of the local economy since that time. As well as the obvious attractions of the falls, Niagara Falls markets itself as a honeymoon destination and is self-proclaimed as the honeymoon capital of the world.
In 1856, the town of Clifton was incorporated. The name of the town was changed to Niagara Falls in 1881. In 1882, the community of Drummondville (located near the present day corner of Lundy's Lane and Main Street) incorporated itself as the village of Niagara Falls. Thus there were two municipalities named Niagara Falls at the time (with the village being referred to as Niagara Falls South to differentiate it from the town). In 1904, the town and village finally amalgamated to form the city of Niagara Falls. In 1953, Marilyn Monroe filmed Niagara (1953 film), a major event for the city. In 1962, the city amalgamated with the surrounding Stamford Township, resulting in a doubling of population. With the creation of a Niagara regional government in 1970, the city absorbed the village of Chippawa, Willoughby Township and part of Crowland Township, creating the present-day municipal boundaries.
American Falls before Doomsday
Before Doomsday, Niagara Falls was a "twin city" divided between New York and Ontario. It was also a large tourist region, with many honeymoon couples coming there. It was dubbed the "Honeymoon Capital of the World".
The City of Niagara Falls was incorporated on March 17, 1892 from the villages of Manchester and Suspension Bridge, which were parts of the Town of Niagara. New York State Governor Roswell P. Flower signed a bill into law forming the city. Thomas Vincent Welch who was a member of the charter committee and then a New York state assemblyman, but more importantly a second-generation Irishman, was there when the bill was signed, and responsible for asking Governor Flower to sign the bill on St. Patrick's Day. Historically, the city was built around factories that utilized the power of the falling water for energy. The European migration into the area began in the 17th century with missionaries and explorers. This influx of newcomers may have been a catalyst for already hostile native tribes to turn to open warfare in competition for the fur trade.
By the end of the 19th century, the city was a heavy industrial area, due in no small part to the huge power potential offered by the swiftly-flowing Niagara River. There were many chemical industries in Niagara Falls that used the power of the mighty Niagara River.
The 1950s and 1960s witnessed an economic boom, as several new chemical factories and industries opened in the city. It was at this time that the city saw its population peak at about 105,000. The areas around the factories, primarily located on Buffalo Avenue, were populated by factory workers. The North End of the city also had substantial industrial development, bringing a short era of economic prosperity to the area.
The neighborhood of Love Canal gained national media attention in 1978 when United States President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency there, and hundreds of residents were relocated. Starting in 1920, the area had been used as a landfill for chemical waste disposal (and later, industrial toxic waste) before its development as a residential area. The Superfund law, which protects people, families, communities and others from heavily contaminated toxic waste sites, was enacted in 1980 in response to the Love Canal situation.
Throughout the 80's the city was experiencing a reversal of fortunes, but this painful process was halted on Doomsday.
Niagara Falls, New York barely avoided the serious effects of the strike on Buffalo. While few refugees were received on the Canadian side, those that were were lodged on both sides of the city. There were many farms on the Canadian side as well, including the famous Vineyards, so food was not a problem since the cities had such a small population. The biggest problem was that with the damaging of the hydro-dam water was overflowing at a dangerous level. Both sides of the city scrambled to build makeshift coffer dams until a better solution could be found.`
The American Falls did not flood as much as Horseshoe Falls. Horseshoe Falls would have water come rapidly crashing down destroying many boats and flooding many caverns and flooding most of the lower bridges even with small makeshift coffer dams. The Maid of the Mist fleet barely escaped destruction by using a dangerous technique of ferrying the passengers directly under the falls, even though they lost the Maid of the Mist III in the process. However, while both cities had met with significant damage, the American section was by far more damaged due to the nearby strike on Buffalo that prompted many Americans to flee through whatever bridges remained to Canada, while the city officials and around 45,000 civilians would remain in the city proper. Many others fled to the north and established a second government at the Town of Niagara.
The Cities would work viciously at repairing the hydro-dams for the next few years. It was difficult to construct since the only materials available were those from the Regional Municipality of Niagara Falls, Ontario and those from the immediate region of Niagara County, New York. Plus, The New York side had essentially been cut off from the rest of the county due to the increasing flood waters.
By 1985 the hydro-dam was complete in the sense it now blocked the flood waters, but electricity being restored was still an ongoing difficult process. Technicians and engineers would have to remove large parts of the dam to remove any components that were destroyed by the EMP and would have to somehow replace the parts. It would be a long process of scavenging before the plant would be complete.
Falls scouts were sent to Lockport, the county seat of Niagara County to assess the situation and they found that the city had become victim to overcrowding by refugees from Buffalo. Still the seat officials desperately attempted to maintain order and Niagara Falls offered to take 1000 refugees with them back to the city, along with 200 of the New York Army National Guard Remnant, or more precisely survivors of the 42nd Infantry Division that were led by the mayor of Buffalo out of the city. Lockport agreed and the situation greatly improved for them, but yet some of the county officials felt that they were to vulnerable to refugees from the rest of the state and decided to evacuate to the east where they would be less vulnerable to refugees.
Unification of the Falls
In February 1986, the mayors of both sides met to discuss a possible unification of the cities. Later that year, the City of Niagara Falls was unified. Under the agreements made both cities view themselves as now a sovereign, unified nation that would go about eradicating chaos and making sure the people of Niagara Falls would help their brothers and sisters from the rest of New York and Ontario. They took over control of the rest of eastern Niagara Municipality and western Niagara County, leaving the eastern part of the county to the community at Lockport, who had too many problems at the moment to join the nation. The temporary head of state were the two mayors, who had agreed to unite their chains of command into a unified council.
The unification did not solve as many problems as originally thought, however, because three years later refugees were still coming in from all over, plus the stranded tourists, the total amount of non-residents outmatched the actual citizens of Niagara Falls two to one. The Niagaran Council had than voted as to what do with them, with the final verdict being one of the best moves it would ever make. The government would allow the refugees to stay under conditions that they join one of three mandatory services, being law enforcement, reconstruction and debris cleaning, or agricultural and aquacultural food production. Every refugee/non-native who did not participate in these duties was to be expelled far from Niagara, into southern Ontario cities who were willing to receive them, with the exception of orphaned children refugees. Those who were willing to work would be provided Niagaran citizenship after two and a half years of state service.
The New Niagara
The service not only fastened Niagara's recovery from Doomsday, but it also gave them access to a gigantic workforce of over 250,000 people. By 1989 Niagara had finished clearing most of the debris and rubble from the city, and basic electrical service was restored through repairing the hydro-dams. By this point, Niagara Falls, New York had recovered from its mass exodus to rise to a population of over 120,000. The smaller towns, such as Cambria, Town of Niagara, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Wilson began to evolve into small cities, with Town of Niagara growing nine-fold and Wilson eight-fold in population.
Niagara than was faced with the problem of feeding this large population, as agriculture production was one of the least joined programs for the refugees. Shipping food was impractical, as it required fuel which was largely extinct by now. As a result, the Niagaran Council encouraged people to plant Victory Gardens, similar to the ones planted during World War II when food became scarce. The program was a success, with over half of the population producing food in their own backyards, or in the city, on their balconies and windowsills.
In the summer of 1990, they made contact with another government in Norfolk County, Ontario. From there they learned of how London was becoming the de facto capital of southern Ontario, but Norfolk had declined participation in handing control to the city.
United Communities Foundation
It was around 2000 that contact with Ithaca, Binghamton and North Pennsylvania occurred. This later gave way to formal diplomatic relations being established and the first
In 2007, the city underwent drastic changes after it became home to the fledgling United Communities, bringing in not only an exchange of persons and ideas from other survivor-states but also an increase in economic activity.
As befitting its diplomatic position, the Falls remained neutral during the war, supporting neither side. The semi-private army of the Mercenariness Force fought in the war, however, as the client of a anonymous Canadian, against the Lawrence Raiders. This Canadian, however, had not hired a fire team, squad, platoon, or battalion, but rather hired the entire 5th Regiment of the Mercenariness Force. In the closing days of the Saguenay War, the Mercs had bloodied Saguenay through frequent raids and bombings, though most often they fought alongside the battlefield with their Canadian allies.
A large portion of the "O-Fifth" Regiment dropped out of the war, since many of the O-Fifth had been Franco-Canadian and would refuse to fight Saguenay. Many of them returned to Niagara during the war, while others simply left the Force. After the war, the Mercenariness Force was one the verge of a schism. There was the majority group, which had fought in the war and wished to keep the Force as it currently was, and than there was a smaller group, which made up about a fifth of the force that wished to become a true branch of the Niagara Military, or wished to form a different group altogether.
The Niagaran Rift
In 2005, Niagara began scouting the Lower St. Lawrence River. In the process, they encountered small settlements formed by bands of refugees from the Lawrence Raiders, most of them coming from Quebec. Many of these people would accompany the Army troops back down the river and around the ruined locks, and then take naval vessels back to the Falls. Many of these Québécois who participated in the evacuation would later go on to hold public offices in Niagara, while many would surface in gangs.
A good few of these Québécois de Niagara would join the Mercenariness Force, many of which would go on to take on some of the fiercest gangs around, but with the outbreak of the Saguenay War, French Niagarans in the Mercenariness were doubtful as to whether they should go to war. Most of the French Niagaran had actually dropped out of the Merci during or after the war, as those who had chosen to go to war had witnessed the Merci's brutality towards Saguenay and Lawrence Raider forces a bit too often.
As a result, Franco Niagarans became uneasy and began to emigrate from Niagara.
Long haunted by the ruins of Buffalo within their borders, and with the UC looking for a test site to begin one of its main goals of re-building and decontaminating the Great Lakes region, the Niagaran government as well as the Committee of the UC decided to formally re-establish the City of Buffalo as well as prove to other states in the region that the formerly destroyed zones can safely be populated once more, and most of all, as a testament of compassion to the Buffalo refugees and their descendants, which numbered some 18-20,000 in all, that the city can once again shine.
With the Doomsday strike occurring near the western-center of the city, the original shoreline, and almost the entirety of the city's heart had been completely obliterated and long eaten away by Lake Erie. Thus, it was decided that the restored Buffalo's downtown would be along where the First Ward intersected with the Buffalo River, with the city's main street being named in honor of the late James Griffin, the mayor of the city at the time of Doomsday who had survived and was a rallying figure for the survivors before succumbing to cancer in 2000. The northern and eastern ends of the original downtown would host the City's Memorial Park And Museum, as well as residential areas in the fashion of housing originally native to the area, as well as retaining the original street names and patterns where permitted by the changed geography.
The project's completion was unveiled on the anniversary of Doomsday in 2013, 30 years after its initial destruction and two years after the largest decontamination project had begun. The first group of Buffalo (re)settlers was tallied at 1500, and as of September 2015, Buffalo stands at about 5000 people within the city limits proper.
As a heavily urbanized city, inner city crime has exploded since Doomsday, especially after the thousands of refugees from New York and Buffalo were assorted into heavily damaged slums. During the late 80s revolts often occurred throughout the city causing dozens of deaths and property damage. Once conditions started to settle organized crime families formed after Doomsday, a handful of which were made up of small-time Mob affiliates who reformed in the new city.
Street gangs are also common throughout the various project neighborhoods.
Niagaran culture is mainly a syncretic blend of Canadian culture and New Yorker culture. Niagarans take pride in their nation and are a brotherly people. Nevertheless, since most of Niagara's refugees were New Yorkers and the Falls' government is located on the American side, Niagara has inherited many cultural traits from New York City and the rest of the United States.
The three largest cities, St. Catharines, Canadian Niagara Falls and American Niagara Falls have begun to centralize into what can be considered a major city by conventional standards. In response to being both the largest metropolitan area in the Northeast and one of its most important hubs of commerce, it has experienced several waves of rapid urbanization and centralization across the area colloquially known as Niagara City as Niagara's large refugee population were moved into the cities to keep factories running - particularly in St. Catharines and American Niagara. Each of the three regions have their own distinct sub-cultures and resources.
Niagara's largest city, it is home to the largest political and industrial infrastructure out of the three. While it is slowly becoming a lesser presence in the residential and industrial fields, as much of the first generation immigrant's descendants seek work in Niagara proper, Port Weller remains Niagara's primary dock of importing and exporting and also hosts the lifeblood of Niagara's automotive industry in what was once several of General Motors Canada's largest factories, which today is the GeMiNi brand.
Canadian Niagara Falls
Indisputably the most physically distinctive of the three is Canadian Niagara Falls, or West Niagara. Clifton Hill is the grand commercial center in Niagara Falls which leads from River Road on the Niagara Parkway to intersect with Victoria Avenue. The street contains a number of shops, museums, haunted houses, restaurants, hotels and themed attractions. It is a major amusement area and centre for night life. It is also home to the trademark skyline of Niagara, as well as its wealthiest population. One of the two most famous buildings of Niagara Falls and one of the largest in the Great Lakes is Skylon Tower, which stands at 160 meters tall, is used as a watch tower, lighthouse, cafe and attraction all in one.
Next to Clifton Hill, the top entertainment area of Niagara Falls is Maple Leaf Village. Maple Leaf Village is home to an Elvis Presley Museum, along with countless souvenir and apparel stores: Lillie Langtry's tavern and comedy club, a Ripley's Believe it Or Not Museum, Lilly Langtree's Theatre, a wax museum, an arcade, mini-golf and a nightclub called Shaboom. Maple Leaf Village also has an amusement park. The rides stood unused until electricity was restored in 1989. The rides were mainly used for a yearly carnival until tourism returned. To repair the rides at Maple Leaf Village, ride parts have been scavenged from Marineland, Skylon Tower indoor amusement park, and Pyramid Place, though despite that it is still slowly decaying.
Of the three large cities, West Niagara is the most stable as it is sandwiched between East Niagara and St. Catharines, meaning any "undesirables" who want to emigrate to Niagara would have to go through one of those cities first.
American Niagara Falls
The capital of the country and the de facto capital of the entire Great Lakes region rests in American Niagara Falls, or East Niagara. It is amongst the most culturally diverse places in North America, home to Irish, English, Scottish, African-American, Italian, Puerto Rican, German, Jewish, and Swedish ethic enclaves, some of whom (roughly 3000) emigrated post-Doomsday from across the Atlantic Ocean especially from the regions of Ireland, France, and Northern Germany. Little Italy is definitely the most influential, while Hyde Park is the last majority Black neighborhood of any size in the United States. Despite large parts of the city being destroyed from fire outbreaks, debris, and riots during the 80s, the city rebounded during the Millennium and is now fastest growing of the three, the population stands at 140,000 people - both citizens and immigrant refugees, which is the largest the city has ever been. Compared to West Niagara's Manhattan-styled architecture, East Niagara resembles Brooklyn or Queensbridge.
A large portion of the city is controlled by organized crime, however, such as Little Italy which was an infamously Mafia neighborhood pre-Doomsday, exploded in size and power after a great number of Italian-Americans from New York City arrived in the area. It is not uncommon for firefights with the military or even the Mercenariness Force to occur. Hyde Park and various other neighborhoods are home to various unorganized black gangs although they are not classified as a threat on Niagara's Terror Scale. Over the summer of 2011 several thousand people were evacuated from western New York following the UN's attempt at demolishing the most irradiated remains of Buffalo to test nuclear cleanup ideas. This was the last wave of mass immigration.
As being a spiritual successor to New York City, West Niagara Falls boasts a cosmopolitan musical culture. As basically all electronics were heavily damaged and surviving ones restricted after Doomsday, music began to take a different path from the keyboard and synthesizer based sound of popular music at the time. From the days directly after Doomsday most musical instruments survived, as did those who played them. Several concert halls are open in St. Catharines as well as minor music halls in Niagara Falls
As Niagara is a very diverse and liberal community, racially, ethnically or otherwise, it has a broad population of different religious beliefs.
Since the Roman Catholic Church collapsed worldwide, the Catholic University at Niagara established a local Diocese to run the local churches, or at least attempt to. As time went by, the faith of many within the nation changed, and the Catholics felt in order to not go extinct they must change with it. Thus, a Council was held and the Catholic University at Niagara and local churches evolved into Niagaran Catholicism, followed by major edits to Church doctrine that some considered a local "Vatican III". This was mostly due to the fact that some of the priests in training had left and started families after Doomsday, but later on returned, and facing a large schism, the more orthodox Catholics reluctantly agreed to the reforms. Many major changes were made to church canon and even the Bible itself. A revised version of the King James Version of the Holy Bible was drafted, including one of the Apocryphal texts into Canon, the Gospel of Peter. The Book of Revelations, however, was debated heavily on whether or not to be cast out of canon, as many had felt that through Doomsday the coming of times was permanently averted. In fact, many wanted for the Church to add a hotly debated "Book of Doomsday", based on the teachings of the local priest anonymously known as Joshua the Guardian, who many considered to have fulfilled several of the Second Coming predictions, and a few considered to be a reincarnation of Joseph or even Jesus himself. Such a Book has been in limbo, and was eventually declared unfit for canon, although the texts have since disappeared and a small sect has formed based on the texts.
In order to appease several of the Protestant Denominations, a marginal vote declared that priests may be married under certain circumstances, that they must marry a lay person of the opposite gender, and that they should raise at most two children, and they face expulsion if they divorce. Another introduction were priestesses, as men were often compelled to reconstruction efforts. After the entire council had finished the reforms, most but not all of the local churches had amalgamated, resulting in a very distant church than the original, causing for "Niagaran Catholicism" to be viewed as unorthodox by most mainline Catholic authorities in Rio de Janeiro.
Free Thought Movement
While the Catholics attempted to salvage their religion, the Free Thought Movement had largely by 2007. The religious scene quickly changed as a result of many people's loss-of-faith in the Abrahamic religions following the horrors of Doomsday. Such result quickly created a very large amount of Deists, which became the largest denomination of the Free Thought Movement, along with Humanism and its various denominations. Places of worship were rarely erected under Deism and Humanism, but the Northern Deists and Theistic Humanists did erect a single congregtory religious structure, simply titled the Northern Theistic Temple, based on the remnants of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, which became the de facto center for the movement.
In a religious poll conducted by the Niagaran Catholic University, Christianity makes up roughly 52% of the city-state, Non-religious at 20%, Deists and Freethinkers at 20%, Judaism at 4%, Buddhism at 2%, and Other Religions 2%.
As Niagara is a unique blend of Canada and the United States sports played in the nation vary from American football to Hockey. Regardless of the popularity of American sports, hockey remains the most popular sport in Niagara. Hockey stadiums were erected throughout the area to join the arena in St. Catherines, so that the district teams could play against each other.
Relatively undisturbed by Doomsday, the Tuscarora Reservation remained put during the post-nuclear crisis, and members of the tribe were not permitted to leave the reservation or faced expulsion, as they did not want their members to "fraternize" with the Americans who for all they knew could have started the war. In 1986, the unified Niagara government had claimed the reservation as part of the Community, but did not hold any control over the area. In the late eighties and early nineties the Tuscarora finally lifted the isolationist policy, and accepted becoming a part of Niagara in return for autonomy greater than that of the pre-war reservation.
Today, Tuscaroran culture has changed drastically. Throughout the seven year isolationist period a great number of people learned the native Tuscaroran language, while self-sufficiency methods imitated the lifestyle of their ancestors. The Tuscaroran language was made a co-official language in 2004, alongside English and French. The Tuscaroran Nation has grown in recent years, rising to a population of about 1,700 and several thousand who are mixed with one other ethnicity.
Niagara Falls, as a common ground for the United Communities, is one of the most active commercial spots in North America. While freight ships from across the continent will dock and bring their merchandise, the regional tourists and politicians will often purchase these soon after they are stocked. Common goods exported or purchased by "tourists" are, but not limited to paint, glue, office supplies, oils, wines, and grapes. The tourists that do visit are those who are from United Communities member states, or occasionally from other areas of New England.
Due to Niagara featuring large amounts of woodlands, rivers, plains, and settlements, Niagara is home to many urban farms and timber lands even in the heart of the city, causing a unique blend of urban and rural economies. Raw materials and animal products produced in Niagara include grains, potatoes, strawberries, grapes and wines, timber, cattle, sheep, poultry, and fish.
Both sides of the city have heavy industrial sites, most of which produce chemicals, paper, steel, nickel, automobiles (Ford), guns, munitions, toiletries and healthcare products. The influx of refugees brought a source of cheap labor for the jobs people no longer wanted to do, i.e., work in dirty industry. Products manufactured in Niagara can be mass-produced thanks to their nearly-infinite energy supply, a feat very few other North American cities can achieve.
The tourism industry was forever changed since so many refugees were received, which forced the city to allow them to stay in empty hotel rooms. Several former high-class hotels found themselves turned into slums of public housing. However, since the City ordered the vacation of many of the refugees into the countryside and the city of Welland, and more recently the last of the welfare refugees into reconstruction efforts in neighboring city-state Lockport, Niagara has experienced a relief on food supplies which has enabled them to lower the prices of food.
While nowhere near it was in its heyday, Niagara has re-opened tourist services to the Great Lakes area. Many being attracted by the new Iroquois Casino, while others prefer simply viewing the Horseshoe and American Falls. The surviving Maid of the Mist fleet continues to give tours of the Falls. 2008 Niagara opened a theater entertainment area, dubbed "New Broadway" by the populace, earning Niagara Falls the nickname of "The New New York".
The city is a constitutional union, and since 2007 it is a constitutional union governed by the United Communities. They are governed by a Governor and a Premier, although in technicality there is no one true leader as both tend to both different affairs and different districts. Another unique element distinguishing the Premier and the Governor is that they are required to live on
The fact that they are "governed" by the United Communities means that they have the "premier councilor" of Niagara Falls to the United Communities, who is technically a third governor, as he oversees the laws and can vote with the other councilors on whether the law should be allowed or not.
DivisionsNiagara is divided into ten districts. Each district is in charge of its own affairs and all have District-Wide laws that vary. The districts discuss and vote in the enlarged Niagara City Hall. The districts are: Welland, Virgil, 140, West Niagara, Model City, Little Italy, East Niagara, Lewiston, the Tuscarora, and Buffalo. The other cities, such as Lockport, all have their own divisions and operate autonomously under basic supervision.
There are many political parties in the Falls that were from before Doomsday, from the Democrat party to the Liberal Party. New political parties have emerged in recent years as well.
The Republican Party is a Replica of pre-Doomsday American Republican party. Has conservative views. Most of its members are the rich merchants, factory owners, or corrupt government officials, while the more "down to earth" conservatives are usually Republican-Conservatives.
The Republic-Conservative Party is a party that was created after a unification of the two Canadian and American parties. Less conservative than the remnants of the Republican party. It is the second largest party, though it is smaller than the Liberal Party. Most of its members are farmers, construction workers, and merchants, and are usually against the government assigned job system, and are for low taxes on traveling merchants who reside in Niagara.
The Liberal Party is a party that is a replica of the pre-Doomsday party. This party holds the most seats in Niagara's Districts, although many are defecting to the right or are becoming Social Democrats. Most of its members are factory line workers, doctors and teachers.
The Social Democratic Party is a fringe party on the far-left that is a blend of Soviet Socialism and American Liberalism. This is one of the fastest growing parties in Niagara Falls. It is also the most persecuted due to their practically Socialist tendencies and minority favor-ability rather than the common man.
The Division Party is a Party that believes in a break-up of the Community. These are mostly corrupt district officials who wish for their specific area to be able to gain a monopoly over the others.
The Royal Party is a Party that believes that the Community should follow King Andrew of the British Commonwealth. It is the smallest party with only a few dozen members.
The Manifest Niagara Party believes that Niagara should absorb as much land as possible.
Although the local school boards essentially collapsed on Doomsday, several schools pledged to stay open and attempt to at least finish the school year, though by December of 1983 more than 90% of the cities' public schools had closed. After 1986, however, the Niagara School Board was resurrected and classes resumed, with students forcing to resume at the grades they had left off at. By 1990, schooling had once again become mandatory.
While not one of the best educational systems in the world, Niagaran public schools are some of the safest thanks to the fact that law enforcement is placed on every single campus. As a result most schools are disciplined in a fashion similar to military schools, that students are required to be on their best behavior. Niagara's public high school system, however, focuses on education rather than strict discipline, due to the fact that most students arriving from junior high school have already been disciplined.
Due to their independence from school boards, more private schools managed to stay open than public schools.
The multiple colleges in the cities became a haven of stability in a world of chaos and served to dispel many of the rumors that had spread, as the educated men and women there knew better.
Niagara Falls was home to two different military presences before Doomsday. Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station was home to the 107th Tactical Fighter Group as well as smaller Army and Coast Guard installations on base. The Lincoln and Welland Regiment made its home in Welland, Ontario. Each of them was deployed in 1983 to organize refugees and make sure that no major fights occurred.
The three main branches of the military are the Niagara Falls Air Force, Niagara Falls Army, and the Niagara Falls Navy. Of the three main units, the Air Force is the best equipped and most experienced. Currently, the military is commanded by General Thomas W. Luscher, of the Air Force.
Two other smaller units were created after Doomsday, the Niagara Falls National Guard and the Niagara Falls Mercenaries Force. Although small, both are trained to be experts at their job. The National Guard trains with the National Guards of the United Communities members in the "training city" of Coldwell, Superior. The Mercenaries Force trained alone in the outskirts of Niagara County until 2008 when they began training in the Cumberland Mountains of the Republic of Virginia as part of the United Communities-Dixie Alliance Friendship Association. The "136th King Andrew Regiment" is the most advanced unit in the Mercenariness Force.
The Niagara Falls National Guard was the first force created after Doomsday. It was formed when the National Guard Convoy accompanying the Mayor of Buffalo and his family as well as other key officials and refugees arrived at the Falls. They departed literally a minute too late, however, and more than three quarters of the crowd of thousands died within days of arrival due to radiation sickness, but in October of 1983 the surviving officials, National Guardsmen, and local S.W.A.T. and NFPD created the Niagara Falls National Guard. The new National Guard helped keep peace throughout the most chaotic parts of the city, especially the Love Tunnel neighborhood which had descended into total chaos. Today it is responsible for keeping of the peace in emergency times.
The Mercenariness Force is one of the most famous militaries in the Northeast, because it is essentially a private army which is deployed to fight for other countries or for individuals. It was created after Doomsday when Lockport requested help from what appeared to be attackers from a nearby Native American settlement but the Niagarans were busy fighting off a Lawrence Raider settlement. So several individuals from each branch of the military broke off and created the Mercenariness Force, which originally was primarily made up of volunteers. The Mercenariness Force has a policy that they will always fight on the same side, or "inter fratres, arma armis pulvinar ut cinis cinerem". This is also the motto of Niagara Falls. They are considered to be one of the most "elite" military forces in the Great Lakes area, and they are armed with the most "state-of-the-art" equipment available. Since 2007 this force has come under partial UC control, as did everything in the city, but the Mercenariness Force maintains more independence than the other branches of the military in the sense they can still be privately leased. They make up one of the most feared units in all of the North.
Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station
Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is one of a scant handful of surviving U.S. Air Force station in the Northeast United States. Home to nearly 30 military aircraft, plus multiple coast guard and army vehicles, the United States men and women stationed here on Doomsday were the saviors of Niagara, as they helped restore order to Niagara County early on during the crisis. After the Falls were unified, the Niagaran government formally seized this federal property, although out of respect to the military they continue to fly the American flag at equal height to the Niagaran flag on base.
Niagara Falls is the capital of the United Communities and is sovereign territory of that organization. It is also the center of trade for the Great Lakes region. Niagara Falls maintains good relations with every neighboring city or nation, with exceptions on unrecognized hostile states considered to be warlord-occupied zones.
Niagara is on good terms with the United States and Provisional Canada as they have been lax about their territorial claims to their former land, but they remain distanced from Canada, who has not been too receptive to the Niagaran's "sovereignty forever" policy.
Since it has gained reasonably safe land access to the outside world, Niagara's small group of diplomats have recently begun expanding its relations outside of North America, beginning with Greenland and Iceland in 2010, thus making its existence known to the rest of the Nordic Union in general. During and after the Saguenay War, Niagara also established informal relations with the Celtic Alliance.
As the years have gone on since the Saguenay War, the Niagarans have increasingly become more active in the field of International Diplomacy, to the best extent possible. The Phoenix Policy Institute, based out of St. Catherine's, Niagara has taken great strides to put together as complete of a geopolitical picture of the post-Doomsday world as possible for a North American city-state. Embassies have been opened in other western European embassies in recent years, starting with Portugal, Spain, Galicia, and several of the larger British nation-states, and have opened their doors to traders or citizens of any North American nation state in good standing who may find themselves in need of assistance abroad.