Britain runs a close race with Germany in terms of economic and political power in 2300. Britain will never again know the world status it had held during the 19th century, but it remains a major European power.
- Population: 171,644,000 (83% urban, 17% rural)
- Literacy: 99%
- College Education: 98%
- Life Expectancy: 93 0 male, 97.7 female
- Largest Cities: Thames/Birmingham Metroplex (26,740,000), Leeds (7,832,000), Edinburgh (3,975,000)
- Industrial Capacity: 11 Rudell Units
- Mineral Production: 13%, net importer of minerals (mostly from extraterrestrial colonies)
- Power Production: 69% (92% solar, 3% atomic, 5% mineral), net importer of power
- Principal Trading Partners: France, extraterrestrial colonies, America, Germany, Japan
Income from trade with its interstellar possessions, along with a continued emphasis on scientific research, has ensured that the British economy remains strong, and British technological expertise is still in demand.
Great Britain includes the whole of the British Isles with Ireland and the Channel Islands as self governing territories. Elsewhere on the globe Britain controls Gibraltar, Falkland Islands and dependancies, British Antarctica, British West Indian Federation (British Virgin Islands, Montserrat etc.), Bermuda, Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia and assorted other islands), Pacific Ocean Territory (Pitcairn and other minor territories), Ascension Island and a share in Anglo-Canadian Greenland.
Off world Britain has a share in the ESA L-5 colony, a scientific outpost at Claarkstar, mining outposts througthout the solar system and colonies on Titan, Beowulf, Crater, Beta Canum-4 and Joi.
History Since Twilight
Britain (often called the United Kingdom) was hit hard by Twilight. Two things enabled Britain to recover the indomitable spirit of the British people, and the personal example of King William IV, who survived the war and served as a rallying point for the nation during its darkest hour.
The British Army also survived Twilight, with the regimental system forming a ideal and rallying point to which its soldiers, pre-war regulars, territorials and even foreign volunteers could cling to in the chaos. These soldiers formed a major part of the reconstruction effort which became known as the ‘Pacification’.
With French aid, Britain was able to send a small expeditionary force to aid Paris for operations in Arabia in the mid-21st century, marking its reemergence on the world stage. Britain provided troops in other places throughout the end of Twilight to help enforce the French Peace, earning French political and economic aid as a quid pro quo that was vital to Britain’s recover.
By 2090 Britain had once again become a trading nation by necessity. Her soil couldn’t produce enough food whilst the industries of the Tyne, Wear and Tees could produce finished goods for trade. The first major international conflict since Twilight came in the 2150’s when Argentina attempted to annex the British Antarctic territories, and its valuable tantalum deposits. Britain quickly reinforced the small garrison and troops massed in allied Azania ready for action, before Argentina backed down in the face of a massive Royal Navy task force.
Conflict with Argentina was shortly to be the spur again for further expansion as a result of the Alpha Centauri War. Whilst the decisive action was fought that star system the South Atlantic was also a scene of major tension. Anglo-French carrier groups imposed a blockade on the Argentine coast and skirmishes between opposing aircraft were common, but the end of the war came before any further hostilities occurred on Earth.
New wealth flooded in from the colonies in the 22nd and 23rd centuries, and Britain reveled in the glamour of a new colonial age. Britain’s rise to power, however, started to cause tensions with France, particularly along the French Arm, where British and French colonies and companies often competed for contracts and resources. Britain remained a firm ally of France on Earth, however, joining in the Central Asian War and sending forces to fight against Manchuria.
The aftermath of the Central Asian War saw a military junta take power in France, Britain’s long term ally. Also German nationalism was once again on the rise as another European ally, Hannover, attempted to reunify the German states. Britain stayed out of the war between France and Germany, much to the disappointment of both sides.
The Loss of Empire?
Britain’s success in colonization has started to have the same results as it did in earlier centuries: confident mature colonies are beginning to chafe at being ruled from London, and are seeking greater independence. In particular, Wellon, which was Britain’s colony on Tirane, its oldest, largest and most wealthy off-planet holding, has gradually sought and obtained independence. Starting with home rule in 2241, Wellon became a Commonwealth nation in 2277, and full independence in 2291. The loss of nearly half of Britain’s overall population (and tax base) has had incredible repercussions on the British economy. Wellon remains a staunch ally and trading partner, but London has had to make painful cuts to the size of the military, particularly the Royal Space Navy, delaying key modernization and making do with older ships for a decade past their scheduled retirement times.
The economic shock couldn’t have come at a worse time now that Britain finds itself as one of the key defenders of humanity in the war against the Kafers on the French Arm.