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The American-Australian-New Zealand-British Union Act, 2073, commonly known as the Union Act of 2073, was signed by President Carla Anderson on January 10, 2073. It abolished the Free Associations of Australia, New Zealand, and Britain, annexed them as US territories and established procedures for creating new states and territories within their borders. This act was the largest annexation of new Territory of the 21st Century. Despite not being mentioned in the name, Canada was a reluctant signatory of the Union Act and was also annexed in 2073.

History[]

Like Britain, Australia and New Zealand saw much of their populations flee to the US and Canada for over a generation as the impact of climate change left these nations increasingly inhospitable. Australia was all but abandoned as the drought intensified and the coastal cities were lost beneath the waves. As Australia faced ruin, and China's economy contracted, New Zealand's economy crumbled with the loss of its two largest trading partners, and saw its people flee to North America to take advantage of the demand for skilled labor which heavily favored English-speaking immigrants. The fleeing of skilled labor and investors further compounded the New Zealand economy, and by 2050, of the 5 million native born New Zealanders, 3 million lived abroad. For Australia, its 35 million citizens saw a similar effect, with 20 million eventually settling in the US and Canada, with a small minority relocating to New Guinea. The drop in tax revenue severely curtailed the military budgets of these nations, and gave an opening for Japan to begin seeking closer ties with Australia and export some of their industrial capacity to the nations. The US, fearing Japan's expanding influence, called a special summit of the ANZUS leaders, and agreed to drastically expand its military commitments to Australia to provide economic relief and guard against Japan.

After WWIII, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and Britain all entered a Compact of Free Association with the United States. The bulk of their populations still remained in the US, many of whom had either become citizens or had children who were by right citizens, and as such tax revenue to support a large military (in Britain's case to counter the Poles in Europe) was still below required levels. Thus the US formalized the relationship established during the war, in which they would station a sizable number of troops in these countries both as a staging point, and as a means of economic relief. After the refreeze saw a return of many of their former citizens to their homelands, enough time had passed that the cultural distinctiveness between America and the rest of the Anglosphere had eroded away. Pro-Union sentiment had grown during WWIII where many former Australian and New Zealanders fought in the US military against Japan, and later in the First Nations War. Nationalist members of the Australian Parliament brought forward a motion to end the Free Association status in 2069, but it was rejected outright as the American bases provided a substantial economic benefit to the country.

After the First Nations War, proponents of Canadian annexation in the Anderson administration began to gain momentum, the idea captured the public's imagination and an independent political movement arose out of Australia and New Zealand to join the Union. American businesses in Australia and New Zealand used the international movement to spur Congressional action and in 2070 the House passed the Union Act in a lame duck session. It was passed in conference committee in 2072 by the Senate with the intent of it being signed after the elections. Technically, Congress didn't have the power to annex foreign nations, but there was no clear definition of "Free Association" in the Constitution. Following votes by the Australian, British, and New Zealand Parliaments affirming their desire to join the Union, the Union Act of 2073 was signed by President Anderson as her last act in office. The actual admitting of new states would be largely overseen by President Lise Duchesne

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