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    The Great American War is over. For the world of "Look to the West", the second half of the nineteenth century is a golden age, an age in which both prosperity and inequality grow to unprecedented heights. The calcified old Imperial American constitution faces a reform movement, while the United Provinces of South America builds an economic hegemony that leaves its own democracy vulnerable to pressure from its mega-corporations. Railways and telegraph lines criss-cross the world, with some Asian countries modernising to challenge the Europeans and the New World. Dissatisfied with the status quo, extreme ideological movements plot to overturn it - but in this Long Peace, will they ever get their chance?

    This is the calm before the storm, the age of remembered glory, the beautiful time. But all good things must end.

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