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The Three-Sided Cold War was a tense period of diplomatic stress which involved the United States, China, and Russia as competing superpowers. The "bloodless conflict" began at the end of World War III, following the dissolution of the Neo-British Imperium (see http://future.wikia.com/wiki/World_War_III_(2028-2033) ). Territorial disputes involving the allocation of the newly acquired, previously British, colonies nearly spilled into Total War. Reaching its climax in the 2060s, the conflict became a Four-Sided Cold War between the United States, the European Union, the PRC, and the Russian Federation. The commonly cited timeframe for this period is 2033-2072, ending with the political collapse of Moscow and Beijing. Following the Cold War was the First Interplanetary War (or World War IV), fought between the rising Nigerian Empire, Europe, and the American Imperium, over the distribution of resources in the Solar System (see http://future.wikia.com/wiki/Overview_of_World_War_IV )
World War III (see "World War III (2028-2033)" on Future Wiki) was a global conflict between the Allied Axis, consisting of the EU, China, Russia, and the United States, and the Neo-British Imperium, a rising English imperial superpower. Following the dissolution of the Empire in 2033, the Allied Axis was left with a large number of occupied territories (a similar situation occured at the end of World War II, following the demise of the Japanese Empire and Nazi Germany). Malaysia was given to China, India split between the US, China, and Russia, Central Asia occupied by Russia, Nigeria and West Africa occupied by the United States and Europe, the Middle East and Egypt divided between America and the EU, and Sub-Saharan ex-British Africa given to the US. During the War, the Allied Axis had occupied many parts of the World on the pretext that it was offering protection against the Neo-British Imperium. After the War, however, it became clear that every major nation desired a powerful Global Empire.
In January of 2034 diplomatic relations became grave following Indian territorial disputes. After the end of British rule in India, the Allied forces claimed different portions of the sub-continent, and the territorial claims had significant overlap. While the occupying forces promised that India would soon have an independent government, the military rule continued. The discovery of significant shale resources in Uttar Pradesh brought relations between the PRC, the US, and Russia (which all claimed parts of the Province) to a breaking point. The construction of Chinese oil mines in disputed territory nearly led to war. Throughout the 2030s, disputes over India continued.
Uttar Pradesh War
By 2035, the United States had secured Uttar Pradesh as an occupied territory, and took over administration of Shale Mines in the Province, following a complex diplomatic agreement with Russia and China. In 2037, China's new Prime Minister Li Chen encouraged an insurgency movement in Uttar Pradesh. This led to a long 10-year War between the United States and revolutionaries. The War is generally divided into the First Phase (2037-2040), an interregnum when forces were diverted to the American Civil War (see "Great American Civil War and Struggle for Power"), and a Second Phase (2045-2052). Many have compared this conflict to the Vietnam and Korean Wars of the twentieth century which have preceded it. Ultimately, the US secured the Province, but at a great financial and human cost. In total, some 130,000 US soldiers, 540,000 revolutionaries and 430,000 civilians died.
American Civil War
During the 2020s and 2030s, while the world was distracted by the looming Neo-British Imperium and horrors of the Third World War, the American oil and shale industry went through a massive boom. Infitech Shale Corp. quickly monopolized the growing industry, supplying fossil fuels to rapidly growing developing nations. While America and Europe had weaned themselves out of dependence upon oil, China, India, and Africa desperately needed the substance to support their growing population. The depletion of Middle Eastern oil meant that much of the world depended upon North American shale. This significantly complicated the Cold War, and culminated in the Civil War. Concerns about the 2040 Presidential Election led to an armed uprising by Infitech's mercenary army, over issues involving taxing the shale industry. While no foreign nations were formally involved, China and Russia both gave financial support to Infitech. To understand these subtle matters, it would be prudent to read the associated article in full.
Nigeria and the EU
In the 2050s, Nigeria had a rapidly developing economy (aided by its massive oil reserves) and soon became a world leader in Industry. The significant revenue associated with taxing this growing country, coupled with the disparity of the Third Great Depression, exacerbated territorial disputes between the EU and the US. Ultimately, Europe supported an independence movement in the Nation, causing a successful revolution in 2067. Meanwhile, disputes over South Asia and Malaysia continued, as Americans, Russians, Europeans, and Chinese all wanted to further their Imperial power. The independent Nigeria quickly became a superpower itself, conquering much of Africa in the 2070s and 2080s.
The Great Collapse
Following widespread economic calamity and revolutionary tendencies, Russia and China collapsed in the 2070s, ending in 2073 and 2074 respectively. The Third Great Depression of the 2050s, which had ended in America, simply became worse in the Russian Federation and PRC. The EU and US quickly occupied the remains of the two former superpowers, leading to significant friction.
In the 2070s, the advent of practical QCI multiverse antimatter generators revolutionized energy production, and led to the construction of economical interplanetary spacecraft. Many corporations took advantage of the massive resources of the solar system, and many poor laborors moved to the planets and asteroids to take part in mining operations. By the 2090s much of the Solar System was colonized, causing the First Interplanetary War (World War IV) between Europe, America, and Nigeria.