President Fiorello La Guardia
When Texas seceded from the United States of America in 1930, New York decided to follow their example. However, the federal government in Columbia made it clear that, while federal authorities had decided not to take on the might of Texas, they would take action against a similar show of rebellion right on their own doorstep.
Torn between a desire for independence and a fear of the still-powerful federal armed forces, New York decided on a third path - they recruited New Jersey and Pennsylvania to join them and together established the Empire State. On January 4, 1930, the Empire State was born as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania together seceded from the United States, and the collapse that began with the Texan Secession became unstoppable.
The country is now led by President Fiorello La Guardia, from the Presidental Building in New York City. While NYC as a whole is considered the nation's capital, the true center of power is the island of Manhattan.
The Empire State is locked in a fierce rivalry with the ISA - the Empire State covets the ISA's industrial capacity, while the ISA would love to have New York's status as the North American continent's leading political power and chief trading center.
This economic rivalry is exceeded only by the clash between the Empire State and the Nation of Hollywood. Each claims to be the center of culture in North America, contentions that have created tension between the two nations. These tensions were exacerbated by a botched trade negotiation between them; Hollywood responded by threatening an embargo of entertainment properties (movies, radio shows and so on). Since that incident, Hollywood has treated the Empire State with suspicion, and neither side shows any signs of backing down.
The Empire State cannot focus on its western border for long; with the recent air strike into Manhattan by the Confederation of Dixie, the southern passages into this nation are more heavily patrolled as President La Guardia considers reprisals. Speculation abounds whether the strike offers proof of Appalachian complicity, a nation of long-standing neutrality. The so-called experts are in disagreement, and the lack of real authority in the Appalachian Mountains argues against trust between a "wet" and a "dry" nation.
Additionally, the Empire State has the nation of Quebec to the North, serving as a haven for bootleggers and pirates; and an unconfirmed neutrality agreement with the Atlantic Coalition and Maritime Provinces states.