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The Confederate Brethren States was a coalition of central American countries united under a banner of anarcho-syndicalism and other far-left ideologies. Formed as a result of years of economic depression and revanchist temperaments within the Americas, the States considered themselves to be the heirs of the long-gone 9th Brethren Court, an international pirate syndicate.
The self-branded Neo-Brethren, while radical, rarely engaged in open conflict, choosing instead to gain clout by influencing communist regime change in nations across the region and beyond. By 1933, the Confederate Brethren States had full control over the Caribbean and had even demanded parts of Florida and Texas from the powerless United States government, much to the anger of the already discontent populace; this anger was exploited by American fascists such as William Dudley Pelley, who promised to crush the Confederation and annex all their territory should they come into power.
Shortly after the formation of the Free American Empire, the States were crushed once and for all, reducing the Brethren to nothing more than a distant memory once more.
A major shift in global ideology and politics occurred in the wake of the October Revolution in Russia. A young Indian man by the name of Manabendra Nath Roy, inspired by Marx and Lenin's writings, spread their doctrine to his home country, gaining much public backing in the poverty-ridden slums and back-alleys. MN Roy, eventually a delegate to the Communist International, traveled the continents spreading his ideas until fleeing for safe haven to Mexico on the run from British authorities.
In 1917, Roy founded the Mexican Communist Party, regularly distributing copies of the Communist Manifesto and other radical printings to the masses. His ideas gained traction throughout central America but were mostly dismissed elsewhere, with the notable exceptions of France and Spain. In 1920, a violent syndicalist uprising began in Haiti, concluding with the ascension of the young revolutionary Emmanuel Carter. Roy and Carter came into regular correspondence, and the two radicals collaborated to execute similar coups in other nations in the region yearning for change.
Carter brought the history of the Brethren Court to Roy's attention. A pirate syndicate that ceased to exist in any official capacity centuries prior, Emmanuel believed the Court embodied the concepts of early capitalist resistance and socialist equity. Roy was intrigued by their history, and with the 1933 Cuban revolution reorganized the triumvirate into the Confederate Brethren States. The two leaders and several delegates from each of the revolutionary nations formed the Brethren Court, the legislative body for the new syndicate; they dismissed the idea of having one single leader or even a true central government.
By 1935, Republican Spain and the French Commune had undergone socialist regime changes of their own and threw their support behind the Brethren, who maintained close relations with the Soviet Union. In the spring of that year, the Brethren Court, with the unanimous support of over 200 workers' syndicates in central America, annexed portions of coastal southern United States, meeting heavy local resistance but with every intention to transition conquered states into syndicalist societies with as little bloodshed as possible.
Outraged by the U.S. government's unwillingness to immediately retaliate and further disgusted by their ineffective counter-Depression policies, William Dudley Pelley of the Silver Shirts announced his candidacy for the 1936 presidential election, campaigning on a promise to reindustrialize the country and annihilate the Brethren. He won against incumbent Roosevelt in a landslide.
The resulting American-Brethren "War" was a bloodbath rivaling even the greatest atrocities in American history. With the full might of the rejuvenated United States military on his side, Pelley rode into the Gulf states with tanks and planes, dismantling every worker-owned factory and socialized farm in his path. By the time the Court voted to dispatch their allied militias to the American border, Mexico City was in ruins and the Cuban Genocide had begun.
Even after the public executions of Roy, Carter, and several other members of the Brethren Court, concerns of anti-capitalist revolutions elsewhere in the world persisted. France and Spain had formed a joint pact against the increasingly fascist German Reich and United Kingdom, who had begun to sweep Europe in a race for imperial glory; the Soviet Union to the east was constantly expanding its influence in Asia, locked in an expensive war with Japan for control of the continent.
Pelley, warning of Brethren "shadow governments" with communist sympathies across the world, justified the further annexations of the remainder of independent central and south American countries; the public agreed with his policy of preventing socialist uprisings in the western hemisphere instead of reacting them, though outside nations saw his rapid expansion southward as little more than the realization of his fanatic dreams of a global empire.