Four Crucibles ago, the power of Princes took another step forward, but the wisdom of the Halcyon Era and the relative unity of that period collapsed. Unity was shattered within the United States, and the kindred society reflected that shattered unity. A single leader took power, rising like a Caesar from the Senate to place himself over all others by late 1862. His power was short-lived, as the second Caesar assassinated the first within three years, just at the end of the Crucible.
This advancement by murder set the tone for the following decades, as Crucibles always do, and the period from 1865 to 1912 was a brutal one. Kindred prohibitions against violence outside of carefully-constructed rituals broke down, and assassinations were seen as a means to power. This was so devastating that the Masquerade was almost broken, repeatedly, especially in rural areas where legends of vampires were more readily accepted. Many of what mortals describe as lynchings were in fact the destruction of kindred, by both kindred rivals and by mortal Hunters who became very well-organized and powerful.
The early Ku Klux Klan had a secret mission to destroy kindred, spurred on by the rampant violence of the era, and the only salvation of the kindred was that the racist sub-group of the KKK took control of the Klan. Had hatred and racism not taken control of that group, they might be the most potent force of Hunters in the world tonight.
In those dark nights, Conspiracies formed, and kindred knew that this era of violence and destruction could not stand. No kindred, no matter how powerful, was safe, and incalculable knowledge and power were lost as enemies burned one-anothers’ histories, diaries, and journals, killed beloved retainers, herd and allies, and beheaded precious Childer or Sires. The horrors of this era cannot be overstated; hundreds of immortals perished and kindred society was almost destroyed in America by threats from within and without.
Kindred, as a whole, swore that they would never again allow violence to become the norm, for fear that it would escalate again as it did in these decades- and this time, kindred society might very well perish. Kindred looked back to the Halcyon Era for guidance, and re-created the Parliament. This time, rather than Princes coming to power, Conspiracies were the prominent force in Parliament. Cities had been burned, physical resources destroyed, allies slain- only information remained, and not much of that. Those with common goals and aspirations banded together to shape the new world.