The series takes place in an alternate history
Theory: Hunger Games takes place in a world where Britain won the Revolutionary War
Redditor TheMartianManhunter has a fascinating take on the world created by Suzanne Collins. Here's some of what he had to say:
Now, imagine that Britain won. What would they do? Would they decimate all 13 of the colonies? No. They would kill the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and then strike fear into the hearts of the remaining 12 colonies. How? By killing one off. What I propose is that Britain, having just gone through a large war with the rebellious colonists, would set up a small center of command to regulate the colonies. This would be in the Rockies and have a leader similar to the Governors that Britain placed in Massachusetts and others before the Revolution. This would be Snow. Also, the books states that the colonies occur in a region that used to be called Appalachia. This is where the 12 colonies/ districts are. The differences in geography between the colonies would be born out of the Revolutionary War, the Dark Days, the "destruction" of a colony, and time itself.
It's kind of cool how the numbers match up, it's honestly something I never thought about. Even some of the industries are a matches for the regions, for instance the coal-mining. As with any fan theory, there are a lot of detractors, and I see their points as well as far as the timing being off. I still like the idea, however. And I can appreciate an interesting idea, even if it does prove false. At the very least, I would suspect that it's very likely that Collins was influenced somewhat by the original colonies. I actually like the sinister idea, that the British government would kill of an entire colony to strike fear into the remaining 12. I would definitely read a book that gave a look at what America would look like today had the rebellion not succeeded. Probably a lot more scones and clotted cream, a lot less pizza dipped in ranch dressing.
The rebellion was in the works for a long time
There is SO much more, you really should read it. It kind of makes me want to read all the books again so I can look for more clues of this being the case. Clearly I have no life if I think that this is a perfectly good way to spend valuable time.