Note: While there are many alternate versions of the United States in the multiverse, the versions I will be discussing are the most common. Also I will not be discussing balkanized United States. That is a discussion for next month.
Let us begin...
Fascist United States
Amerikan Eagle by Alan Glenn and The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. In these stories authors play on Americans greatest fear: that the freedom they have learned to cherish and protect will be taken away by some power-hungry maniac. Obviously it is impossible for one person to show up and take power without support, but these alternate dictators usually receive it from a populace that is scared and desperate. That is why you see American politicians and their supporters use words like "Nazi" and "fascist" to describe their opponents. Americans still fear this possibility.
Communist United States
After fighting a decades long Cold War against the Soviet Union that could have ended with the nuclear annihilation of most of the world, it is easy to see why alternate historians would take to creating a "communist United States". Of course there is also the factor that the United States is a more conservative culture than most Western democracies, but nonetheless, most Americans have it in their minds that if the United States became communist, it was because they "lost". Worlds where the United States lost the Cold War can be found in The Gladiator by Harry Turtledove or the first episode of the TV series Sliders. Sometimes, however, the United States and the Soviet Union simply switch places. The United States goes through a communist revolution, while Russia either remains an empire or becomes a democracy. This example is most prevalent in Back in the U.S.S.A. by Eugene Byrne and Kim Newman. Rarely do any of these worlds make things "good" for Americans. Most alternate historians hold to the belief that communism was, is and forever shall be a "bad" thing.
British United States
For Want of a Nail by Robert Sobel. A British America could also have been founded if cooler heads prevailed and the Revolution never happened in the first place, as it did in The Two Georges by Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss. Rarely are these alternate histories dystopias like the last two. Perhaps alternate historians are trying to tell us that not all divergence points lead to a nightmare scenario. Maybe some even share Winston Churchill's belief that the English speaking-world should have been united.
North American Confederacy series by L. Neil Smith and the United States of An Independent in 2000 that can be found on the AH Wiki. Both alternate histories are made worse due to fact that they encapsulate the political beliefs of each author. Their message is clear: if America adopts my politics it would be a better place! History rarely agrees with such statements.
Other Alternate Names for the United States
Union of Free States, Columbia, Allied States of America, Commonwealth of America, Commonwealth of American States, Confederation of American States, Confederation of British North America, Fredonia, New England, North American Confederation, People's Republic of America, United Provinces of America, United States of North America, Vinland.
Next Profile: The United Kingdom!
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Mitro is founder, editor and contributor of Alternate History Weekly Update. When he is not busy writing about his passion for alternate history, he spends his time working as a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois and dreams of being a published author himself one day.