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DMA
November 5th, 2007, 06:51 AM
What if, in the last years of the Nineteenth Century, the United States decided to embark upon an Empire, but one of democratic ideals, unlike all the other despotic ones before. It was to be an Empire of Liberation, where the Peoples of the American Empire, regardless of their birth, were to enjoy the rights which were once won by the Founding Fathers. And thus, with such grand thoughts & deliberate planning, the Spanish-American War of 1899 was merely the beginning in order to envisage such remarkable inspiration…


Discuss.

Hnau
November 5th, 2007, 07:11 AM
How would they do that? Just: the United States decides to? There needs to be a significant change in thought and opinion for Americans to go a-crusading for revolutionary democracy, pulling a Napoleon. They need to be attacked by some imperial power, or maybe Mexico, some kind of crisis like a 19th century Pearl Harbor or September 11th that really starts pissing people off and begins the change.

That being said, I believe that the complete dominationof Central America down to the edge of Panama is very possible for the US of A. I mean, they practically did it in OTL with Roosevelt and Wilson... its not too much to say that enforcing martial law becomes annexation. A short war with Mexico and then the rest of the nations are gobbled up along with our southern neighbour. We start putting our large meat cleaver into the affairs of South America, intervening in the wars of the time, gaining allies, signing treaties for Special Allegiances and then, what do you know, they are devoured as well. Canada is harder though.

Advernt
November 5th, 2007, 10:01 AM
It will be intresting to see a USA stretching between Antartica and Artic , and between the Pacific and Atlantic . Coast to Coast , North to South , East to West.

juanml82
November 7th, 2007, 05:50 PM
Democratic Empire? And what will happen when all the conquered lands democraticallly decides to secede from their conquering nation?

Elidor
November 7th, 2007, 06:26 PM
Maybe some early POD causes America to be involved the scramble for Africa?

Ottomans get involved with the US war in Tripoli? Or America holding on to Liberia as a protectorate? Or some form of American bitterness with Britain that leads America to one-upmanship with them?

Tocomocho
November 7th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Maybe some early POD causes America to be involved the scramble for Africa?

Ottomans get involved with the US war in Tripoli? Or America holding on to Liberia as a protectorate? Or some form of American bitterness with Britain that leads America to one-upmanship with them?

How that makes the USA a "great democratic empire", anyway? In my opinion, they should treat better the blacks, indians, grasiers, asians and all that other groups of unwelcomed inmigrants before if they don't want to be known as the "Great Hypocrite Empire", instead. :rolleyes:

Tyr
November 7th, 2007, 07:13 PM
FYI the Americans already had a empire which covered the better part of a continent...
This is a bit of a common AH mistake in my opinion. People ask WI the US had decided to go empire building like the Europeans- they seem to forget that whilst the Europeans were having to go to Asia and Africa for their empire the US was free to make a empire just across its land borders ala Russia.

Jasen777
November 7th, 2007, 10:19 PM
There was considerable debate over whether "the constitution followed the flag" that is, what rights the people in places like the Philippines would have. Perhaps the moderate imperialists and anti-imperialists could get together and compromise. The U.S. would seek empire but they people under the flag would have full rights. Ok, probably a bit far-fetched.

Rocano
November 7th, 2007, 10:46 PM
No way man. Start the Empire after the Mexican-American War saying that the All of Mexico Movement wins and all of Mexico annexed to US.

Paul Spring
November 7th, 2007, 10:49 PM
FYI the Americans already had a empire which covered the better part of a continent...
This is a bit of a common AH mistake in my opinion. People ask WI the US had decided to go empire building like the Europeans- they seem to forget that whilst the Europeans were having to go to Asia and Africa for their empire the US was free to make a empire just across its land borders ala Russia.

Probably about 1/3 of North America. That falls well short of being "the better part of a continent."

The Sicilian
November 7th, 2007, 10:59 PM
You would have to go waaaay back for this to happen, meaning pre-Revolution.

And I agree with the above sentiments that democracy and empire-building do not go hand in hand, but sword in fist. Read the Melian Debate and Pericles' funeral oration for an example of this contrast.

Bishop
November 7th, 2007, 11:07 PM
Democratic Empire? And what will happen when all the conquered lands democraticallly decides to secede from their conquering nation?

They'll be beaten like the South was beaten in the American civil war.

DAv
November 7th, 2007, 11:10 PM
They'll be beaten like the South was beaten in the American civil war.

Not exactly what I'd call democratic...

Tyr
November 7th, 2007, 11:10 PM
Probably about 1/3 of North America. That falls well short of being "the better part of a continent."

They do have most of the best parts :rolleyes:

Admiral Brown
November 7th, 2007, 11:22 PM
What if, in the last years of the Nineteenth Century, the United States decided to embark upon an Empire, but one of democratic ideals, unlike all the other despotic ones before. It was to be an Empire of Liberation, where the Peoples of the American Empire, regardless of their birth, were to enjoy the rights which were once won by the Founding Fathers. And thus, with such grand thoughts & deliberate planning, the Spanish-American War of 1899 was merely the beginning in order to envisage such remarkable inspiration…


Discuss.

When I read this kind of stuff, I feel a bit :mad:

I know it’s written without any bad intention, but it implies what I consider a serious misconception: there are NO democratic empires. You can have empires AND democracies, …but not both.

If a democracy conquers an empire her herself, that doesn’t mean she now rules a “democratic” empire. Britain was democratic in 1900, but her empire wasn’t a democratic one, because most of its inhabitants couldn’t vote. If the US conquered parts of South or Central Amercia, he wouldn’t have allowed their new inhabitants to be full citizens. And thus, it wouldn’t be a “democratic” empire.

Why wouldn’t the US allow their new subjects to be citizens? Why wouldn’t he allow them to form states within the US federation? Because these “subjects” simply DIDN’T WANT to be part of the US. If the Filipinos, who were just a colony before 1898, fought so hard against the Americans when they tried to annexed them, think how much harder would had fought any Latin American nation, all of which had at least 80 years of being Independent states, and had achieved their independence after a long and bloody struggle.

If, in spite of this, the US decided to let these new subjects form “states” and vote to elect federal representatives, the US democratic system would collapse immediately. Because they wouldn’t have voted for democrats or republicans, but for the “Partido independentista Latinoamericano”, who would immediately obstruct the functioning of the federal government. Democratic institutions just don’t work when ethnical loyalties are more important than ideologies, and national parties can’t gain supporters “nationally”. Think in the Irish voting massively for the Sinn Fein when they were under the British rule, instead of voting for a national UK party; or in what happened in the Austro-Hungarian Empire before its dissolution. Or, to a lesser extent, in what happens now in Belgium.

That’s why a “democratic” American empire in 1900 is completely ASB. The only way it could be achieved is through the genocide of most Latin-Americans. Latin American was (and still is) a poor region, with a lot of inequalities and injustices. But its peoples simple don’t want (and didn’t wanted back then) to become part of the US. They had fought very hard to become independent, and wanted to keep what they had gained.

They had intellectuals, writers, poets and thinkers. They had a history of their own, and a strong consciousness of what they weren’t: the US. Even in the poorest regions, when the US intervened, nationalist anti-imperialist movements appeared (like the one of Sandino in Nicaragua). If the US had tried to openly annex Cuba in 1900, a Guerilla war would have started inmediatly. It’s true that the US annexed Northern Mexico easily. But it would have been a different story if it had choiced to conquer the densely populated core of the country.

And, let’s be fair, how likely was for a Black or a native Americacan, or even a Catholic Irish to become an US president in 1900? Well, Benito Juarez, a mestizo Indian, became president of Mexico in 1863. 1863!!!!!!! Would he even be a “governor” if Mexico was an US state? I don’t think so.

I firmly believe that, back then, an US intervention wouldn’t have improved the situation of the poor in Latin America. I think it might have been the opposite.

If you want to make a scenario of the US conquering most of South America, fine. But please don’t call that a “democratic” empire. Because the only way in which this statement could have been true is if the original inhabitants were massively exterminated, and replaced by settlers who are then given the right to vote. A very doubtfull democracy.

Elidor
November 7th, 2007, 11:24 PM
FYI the Americans already had a empire which covered the better part of a continent...
This is a bit of a common AH mistake in my opinion. People ask WI the US had decided to go empire building like the Europeans- they seem to forget that whilst the Europeans were having to go to Asia and Africa for their empire the US was free to make a empire just across its land borders ala Russia.

I don't see why America can't do both... but I concede it is unlikely that they will. Unlikely, but within plausibility.

Tyr
November 7th, 2007, 11:36 PM
I don't see why America can't do both... but I concede it is unlikely that they will. Unlikely, but within plausibility.

Ability.
And common sense- empire building generally isn't too economical.

Rocano
November 8th, 2007, 12:00 AM
I think the US could find enough Collaborators to annex these states Federally. By the way the US would do this by outlawing these Freedom Party's

DAv
November 8th, 2007, 12:05 AM
I think the US could find enough Collaborators to annex these states Federally. By the way the US would do this by outlawing these Freedom Party's

Does the word 'resistance' mean much to you?

Admiral Brown
November 8th, 2007, 12:15 AM
I think the US could find enough Collaborators to annex these states Federally. By the way the US would do this by outlawing these Freedom Party's

So they form a new one with another name. If it is banned again, elections are boycoted, local legislatures declare themselves independent and are disolved, armed resistance arrises. Chaos, to sum up, and no democracy worth of it's name.

This if they don't take a diffferent approach: now we are the mayority and so, our federal representatives vote to move the Capital to Cartagena de Indias, to charge high taxes to the rich industrials in the north in order to fund devellopment programms in the south, and this kind of stuff. Until the people in the North simple fed up of their tax money being spent in the South and form a secesionist movement:eek:

Paul Spring
November 8th, 2007, 12:22 AM
I think that Admiral Brown is pretty much correct - it would have been almost impossible for the United States in the late 19th-early 20th century to have expanded across the Americas while remaining democratic in a meaningful sense. If everyone in the new territories who wasn't pro-US was denied the vote, it would hardly be democratic. If the vote was extended to most of the population, or at least the male population, the majority would probably vote for parties that wanted independence from the US, and it would indeed be similar to Sinn Fein in the British parliament in the same period - except that the pro-independence faction would make up a larger percentage of the US Congress than Sinn Fein did of Britain's parliament - perhaps even a majority.

There is one possibility, although it is a remote one and you need to go back to the late 18th or early 19th century. If Spain had maintained its control over most or all of its American possessions and successfully suppressed rebellions there, it is possible that the United States could have gone to war with Spain at some point in the 19th century and helped to drive the Spanish out of their American possessions. Some early American leaders considered this a serious possibility in the 1790s and the first years of the 19th century, but of course Spain was weakened by the Napoleonic wars and its colonies were able to win independence on their own.

Even if the United States sent armies into Mexico, Central and South America to help drive the Spanish out, however, it does not seem especially likely that most of the people in the former Spanish colonies would prefer to become part of the United States rather than become fully independent countries. There were major differences in language, religion, culture, social structure, racial attitudes, and other areas that would make too many people on both sides reluctant to merge into one political nation. I suppose it still might be possible, though.

Rocano
November 8th, 2007, 12:27 AM
Does the word 'resistance' mean much to you?
Hey IRA guy here. And i didnt mean there wouldnt be resistance

Dean_the_Young
November 8th, 2007, 12:43 AM
Does the word 'resistance' mean much to you?"Insurgency" has become a golden word for "why occupation doesn't work," even though the tools that have made insurgencies dangerous are only much more recent developments. Most imperial insurgencies were beaten down, and weren't that regular to begin with. The British control of India and swaths of Africa come to mind.

For example, the Philippine insurgency is one often touted for older insurgencies in the context of American imperialism. But the Philippino insurgents had numerous advantages and circumstances that hypothetical Latin American insurgencies wouldn't have. Thousands of islands impossible to man, all over a vast distance that dwarfs the much smaller strip that makes up Central America. Livable islands, with water and scavangable food, rather than desert. Hundreds of individual languages that impeded American communications with locals, rather than a single mostly uniform language. A much easier movement of supplies/smuggling in the thousands of waterways, where as trudging supplies in desert and dry earth is slower and harder.

And despite these, the US still crushed the insurgency in the Philippines and installed a friendly, democratic lower legislature (lower house, at least). So don't act like democratic imperialism doesn't work; it did in OTL. Nor is an inssurgency guaranteed; the US occupied a number of small countries to make them pay their bills, and never got dragged into a Vietnam situation.

DAv
November 8th, 2007, 01:03 AM
Hey IRA guy here. And i didnt mean there wouldnt be resistance

Resistance is one thing, we're talking about sheer rebellion along with long term insurgency throughout an entire continent here. The US simply wouldn't be able to do this long term. Especially with 19th century technology.

For example, the Philippine insurgency is one often touted for older insurgencies in the context of American imperialism. But the Philippino insurgents had numerous advantages and circumstances that hypothetical Latin American insurgencies wouldn't have. Thousands of islands impossible to man, all over a vast distance that dwarfs the much smaller strip that makes up Central America. Livable islands, with water and scavangable food, rather than desert. Hundreds of individual languages that impeded American communications with locals, rather than a single mostly uniform language. A much easier movement of supplies/smuggling in the thousands of waterways, where as trudging supplies in desert and dry earth is slower and harder.

But Latin America had several advantages when it comes to an insurgency. Powers to the south willing to support them, one language which would make their own communication easier, a single connected land mass thus aiding their own communications, desert terrain which prevents a large Army from remaining there without much supplies from home while a smaller insurgent group can remain there for some time, rugged terrain which a regular Army would find hard to scale and the fact they can disperese deep into terrain without the risk of being surrounded.

juanml82
November 8th, 2007, 01:56 AM
I don't think ocuppation is workable in the long term... perhaps not even in short range if you decide that the war is a continuation of the war with Mexico in the 1830's. Independence war is way too close: the guerrilla irregulars who fought the Spanish to the death across the continent for over a decade are still around and their sons will be more than willing to follow their parents path. People from Buenos Aires who defeated the British invasions in 1806 and 1807 are still telling that story when they say goodnight to their children and grandchildren. War veterans, both soldiers and officers are around. And there patriots, even while slaughtering each other. There's the case of an Argentinian colonel, Juan Lavalle, that after leading an unsuccesfull uprising against Rosas with French money was offered by France the chance to go to live to France and enroled as a marshall in the French Army. That guy refused to so do, even while absolutely everything for him was lost! General San Martin will return from his retirement in Europe, and although he would be too old for a battlefield, he can still train excelent and disciplined troops and officers, witch will know the terrain and the local people. Even in a technologically disparity, they could seriously bleed what the US army could field on those days. Like it or not, such an army will be composed of better quality elements that the us army, the only disadvantage is techonlogy, not that big in the first half of the armies of the 19th century. The continent was mostly a violent place, where uprisings are frecuent in many regions. And that means, irregulars yes, but also veterans. Rich people will know that they'll have no power whatsoever in Washington, they'll support resistance for sure. And this is not the war with Mexico. This is war across a continent and a half. In OTL the USA never waged war in such a large land theatre and, actually, few countries have.
Were overlooking the fact that the British Empire had helped those countries revolutions in the first place in order to sell them manufactured goods. They'll send asistance for sure, witch will close the supplies and technology gap and might even consider going to war against the USA to prevent them from closing Latinamerica to British trade (or dificulting it).
The USA can prevail at the end. But it could also waste one or two generations of their own citizens.
I wouldn't call any empire a democratic one.

Also regarding the lenguage, we shouldn't disregard the various native lenguages, witch were spoken by a significant size of the population.

Dean_the_Young
November 8th, 2007, 02:03 AM
But Latin America had several advantages when it comes to an insurgency. Compared to the Philippines, I'd have to say you're wrong.


Powers to the south willing to support them,
Would these be the same powers that were often fighting each other, the same powers that were under the influence of European nations like Britain, or the same powers that didn't aid the non-existent insurgencies where the US did decide to occupy? Who are these anti-imperialist crusaders you speak of, who failed to make a significant mark in history?

one language which would make their own communication easier,That helps the insurgency some, but it helps the US more in comparison to the Philippines. Rather than needing a multitude of types of linguists who can translate from the obscure native languages to spanish to english, the occupiers only need a single type of linguist for their work; linguists who would know one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world and is related to English, rather than one only a few hundred (or thousand) people living speak.

a single connected land mass thus aiding their own communications,
Um, that's not an advantage. News and people travel faster over water, not land. Compare to the unblockable water channels of the Philippines to the much-easier to patrol coast of Central America, compare the speed of boats to the time to cross a desert or dry lands, and the advantage goes to the Philippines. Add in the fact that the advantage of communications virtually always goes to the occupiers who can coordinate their superior resources with fast information infrastructure, like designated horses, boats, and even telegraph, two of which aren't applicable to the Philippines, and a single, concentrated landmass like Central America is much easier. You can walk a message to its destination, but that's not a guarantee that it will get there in time to be relevant.

desert terrain which prevents a large Army from remaining there without much supplies from home while a smaller insurgent group can remain there for some time, The army doesn't need to follow the rebels into the desert, though; the army just needs to keep them away from water. You might be able to sneak a few men at a time into town to grab some water, but a insurgent force won't be able to maintain anything approaching a resistance force if it's forced to hide in the desert. And if a rebel force is in the desert, it's not exactly causing trouble in the cities and farmlands, is it?

Besides, water empires are stable because they control the water, not the love of the people.

rugged terrain which a regular Army would find hard to scale Only applicable in certain locations, and in itself can be overcome/is less relevant. Deserts can become an occupier's advantage, for example, if he brings in camels and desert warfare expertise. Mountain refuge is generally far away from the populace, meaning both out of the way and hard to supply. And enemies can be hunted down in mountains, it's just hard. Hard doesn't mean impossible, though, and various armies across time have opted to do a hard but necessary task. The Roman actions in Palestine, for example. they can disperese deep into terrain without the risk of being surrounded. Not necessarily. In flat lands/desert, they can be surrounded. They can be driven back into the mountains and away from the cities. They can be driven into the desert, where they can die. They can be forced to holdup in the mountains, as pursuers dog them and lay seige to them. And since Central America is in itself a much narrower piece of land than, say, the Great Plains were the US had been fighting the indians (who had horseback expertise and near unlimited manuvering ground to fight) for decades, closer space is just going to help the US.


Really, empires are far from impossible. Rome held the Mediterranean and much of Europe for centuries. Britain held much of the world for the same. And assimilation/annexation of vast areas is possible, as China and Russia have proven. I'd like to hear your reasoning why African occupation was impossible, since you aren't making any arguments that can't be transcribed to Africa.

Who won the Boer War? The natives in rebellion, with knowledge of the countryside and a smaller force at the extremeties? Or the British, who had the men and the guns and the horses and the organization?

To put it more bluntly, who survived the Boer War?

Tocomocho
November 8th, 2007, 02:16 AM
Desert? Are you talking about Latin America or just about that small chunk that is the Sonora desert? Look at a map, it's a fucking continent and a half what you are talking about. There are thousands of different terrains, peoples and environments to care about. :rolleyes:

But admittely, it is funny to imagine the 1890s forced US conscripts being sent to be slaughtered in the Colombian jungle under the words "Because, uh, we want to bring democracy to the Colombian people, though that democracy doesn't mean we are going to accept what they want, though...", while their conditions go down the waterhole as all the economy is redirected to maintain endless wars and occupations. In that situation I think the US population would rise in a couple of months and kick out the "democratic imperialists" from Washington if they aren't allowed to vote democratically for another option. It is a continent and a half, full of people with technology of your same century that prides indepedence as much as you. Why do you think they are going to receive you with flowers and waving American flags? Seriously, where is the "democracy" when nobody ask you before if you want to live in such a "democracy", and once you are there you can't freely elect independence as an option if you want to? What you are talking about is not a small island like Puerto Rico we are talking about, or an almost deserted California that you can flood with inmigrants, or a deserted Texas already settled with lots of yankees that will wellcome the stars and bars. It's a fucking continent and a half... and you want to annex it in a couple of decades or less and have not any problem holding it? That happens in the Drakaverse, not in the real world.

Dean_the_Young
November 8th, 2007, 03:02 AM
When I read this kind of stuff, I feel a bit :mad:

I know it’s written without any bad intention, but it implies what I consider a serious misconception: there are NO democratic empires. You can have empires AND democracies, …but not both.

If a democracy conquers an empire her herself, that doesn’t mean she now rules a “democratic” empire. Britain was democratic in 1900, but her empire wasn’t a democratic one, because most of its inhabitants couldn’t vote. This gets into a separate debate, about where a democracy starts and ends. Generally, a democracy is considered to be so in regards to its citizens. Policies outside of its citizens don't make it not a democracy. The Greeks believed slaves were necessary for the citizens as a class to exist, and by extension believed slavery (and by extension, empire) were necessary for democracy.

This doesn't change the fact that I personally believe democracies should aim to franchise all their citizens, and keep citizenship open minded.


If the US conquered parts of South or Central Amercia, he wouldn’t have allowed their new inhabitants to be full citizens. And thus, it wouldn’t be a “democratic” empire.

Why wouldn’t the US allow their new subjects to be citizens? Why wouldn’t he allow them to form states within the US federation? Because these “subjects” simply DIDN’T WANT to be part of the US. If the Filipinos, who were just a colony before 1898, fought so hard against the Americans when they tried to annexed them, think how much harder would had fought any Latin American nation, all of which had at least 80 years of being Independent states, and had achieved their independence after a long and bloody struggle.
I have to cite historically inaccurate argument here. The Civil War alone, where a great part of the US decided (with shakey legitimacy, in some places) to not be American citizens. They rose in revolt, were crushed, and in under thirty years were full citizens with the right to vote. At least one political party was pushing for a vote it was sure it would get, even if that party (Democratic) subtly agreed to a status quo that it would not support secession.

I also have to ask you to qualify how the Filipinos fought "so hard" for independence, when it wasn't a majority revolt in the first place. It could be argued that it was the geography of the Philipines, more than the ferocity of the resistance, that allowed the insurgency to last as long as it did. And it should still be remembered that the insurgency, in the end, lost. Then the US got bored playing old-time colonialism, and moved on to a different game plan.

I also, unfortunately, have to raise question with your assertion that the peoples of Central and relevant parts of South America would have fought so much harder than the Philippinos, due to "fighting such a bloody war 80 years ago". The argument behind that is that because these people were independent, they were happy with the status quo and would fight to the death to defend it.

I'm pretty sure it did not work like that. The various parts of India had been independent for ages, and were colonized by the numerically inferior British. Instead, let me make a counter-argument, with similarly reasoned points. (By which I mean things that sound nice, without solid factual support presented.)

"The Americans came. No one had prayed for their arrival, but after the initial conflict few actively opposed them in arms either. The Americans were here because they fought better and had better weapons than the local forces, and the initial toll already had shown what any revolt could incur. The men who had known how to fight 80 years ago were all dead and buried; their grandsons and great-grandsons of fighting age knew little of how to fight the new enemy, one who had weapons and tactics unlike the Spaniards.

There had been fear at first, that the Americans would come in and ravage the women and burn the fields, as tales told of the Spaniards doing. And rumors told tales of such happening in villages far away, though few people had any idea how true those were. Most people never left their farms after all. But overtime, the fear rescinded. The Americans may not have known local cultures, but they weren't the bloodthirsty barbarians some had said them to be either. They were no more corrupt than the previous leaders (perhaps a little less so, if only because those caught taking the wrong kind of bribes could be punished by their superiors), and were mostly content to allow the townsfolk to go about their buisness as they had before. American merchants sometimes came to sell their goods, to the ire of local merchants who faced competition, and the Americans set up schools that taught English and tried to spread American cultural values, but for the most part life went on.

And then the revolutionaries came. They came in ones or twos at first, spreading tales of the tyranny of the Yankees and seeking strong, young men to help fight them off. Some young men came immediately, and a great raid was planned. But when the raid came, disaster struck. The Americans had been tipped off by a local informant, and were ready to fight. Their supperior weapons and tactics produced a lopsided victory, and the revolutionaries fled to the hills. The dead were gathered, and the Americans let the families take the bodies home to be buried. The sisters of the young men were not whisked away into the night to be forced to pleasure the vile Americans, though this was of little consolation to most mothers who had lost their sons. One mother, angry at the freedom fighters who had led her son to his death, informed the garrison of one of the insurgents who was hiding in the basement of a local inn, nursing wounds from the battle. The Americans swept in and took the man, as well as the innkeeper. The innkeeper returned shortly after, though it became an open secret that he was forced to collaborate with the occupiers. The revolutionary was never seen from again."

If, in spite of this, the US decided to let these new subjects form “states” and vote to elect federal representatives, the US democratic system would collapse immediately. Because they wouldn’t have voted for democrats or republicans, but for the “Partido independentista Latinoamericano”, who would immediately obstruct the functioning of the federal government. Democratic institutions just don’t work when ethnical loyalties are more important than ideologies, and national parties can’t gain supporters “nationally”. Think in the Irish voting massively for the Sinn Fein when they were under the British rule, instead of voting for a national UK party; or in what happened in the Austro-Hungarian Empire before its dissolution. Or, to a lesser extent, in what happens now in Belgium.This isn't necessarily true; in fact, it relies extensively on mass coordination of the masses, which is hardly a sure thing. The Democrats and Republicans would have made sure they were on the ballot, and one of the traits of the US political system is for the two parties to work together to force out any third party by stealing the platforms under their own guidance. Certain political parties/people in the "empire" would likely not be allowed to speak, at least not until they accepted the basic "rules" of the empire (you can aim to guide policy, as long as you don't push for revolt/try to seceede/absolutely impede the work of government).

That’s why a “democratic” American empire in 1900 is completely ASB. The only way it could be achieved is through the genocide of most Latin-Americans. Latin American was (and still is) a poor region, with a lot of inequalities and injustices. But its peoples simple don’t want (and didn’t wanted back then) to become part of the US. They had fought very hard to become independent, and wanted to keep what they had gained. Actually, I might point out that a few Caribbean Islands and at least one part of Mexico actually asked the US to be annexed, but the Civil War kept that from happening. Should they have been accepted, it is hardly a stretch for a minor domino/butterfly effect to see the US push more into Central America.

They had intellectuals, writers, poets and thinkers. They had a history of their own, and a strong consciousness of what they weren’t: the US. Even in the poorest regions, when the US intervened, nationalist anti-imperialist movements appeared (like the one of Sandino in Nicaragua). If the US had tried to openly annex Cuba in 1900, a Guerilla war would have started inmediatly. It’s true that the US annexed Northern Mexico easily. But it would have been a different story if it had choiced to conquer the densely populated core of the country. Here I have to bring up something; I feel you're doing what I myself am often guilty of: having a rosy image of a situation. Most people don't really care who the government is; they just grew up with it. Nationalism (which hardly had deep roots anywhere, let alone Central America) is dependent on being raised in it, it is not hereditary. Were parts of Central/South America raised and fed the American education systems's message "you are Americans, that is good", they would likely buy into it after a few generations. Just as "you are republican, you are good" can indoctrinate Americans rather than let them have their own preferences. Saying "they all knew what they did NOT want to be" assumes an unrealistic sense of unity of the people in question. Do you think Jose the Farmer cared whether his capital was Mexico City or D.C., if his crops weren't doing well? For all he knew, D.C. might have the money or means to do something about his problems, if Mexico City had shown to be unable to. Especially if the talk of D.C. sounds like it would cure the problems that Mexico City hadn't fixed, or had caused. (D.C. likely wouldn't help a poor farmer specifically, but he wouldn't know that.)

And, let’s be fair, how likely was for a Black or a native Americacan, or even a Catholic Irish to become an US president in 1900? Well, Benito Juarez, a mestizo Indian, became president of Mexico in 1863. 1863!!!!!!! Would he even be a “governor” if Mexico was an US state? I don’t think so. I would expect that, should there be a number of catholics/native american states, the date at which a major Catholic or native american made major office would be pushed up greatly. Cabinet officer by 1900 certainly, president who knows? But it's one thing for Mexico to have a native become president, when natives are a clear majority while the people of European descent are the minority. In the US, it's the other way around; the native americans are a minority amoung minorities, while WASPs were the vast majority until before the 1900s, when it became the general "white."

I firmly believe that, back then, an US intervention wouldn’t have improved the situation of the poor in Latin America. I think it might have been the opposite. A cynic might ask "how would integration into the American free market have made things worse?" American annexation wouldn't have been an absolute gift of political and economic liberty, but it could have given stability and Central and South America were hardly bastions of prosperity, social liberty, and stability themselves.

If you want to make a scenario of the US conquering most of South America, fine. But please don’t call that a “democratic” empire. Because the only way in which this statement could have been true is if the original inhabitants were massively exterminated, and replaced by settlers who are then given the right to vote. A very doubtfull democracy.Here I'll agree, though I think most of the not-so-ASBish thoughts (like mine) are focused more on Central America, with northern South America being the maximum limit. Even then, though, there are limits of reason.

Dean_the_Young
November 8th, 2007, 03:13 AM
But admittely, it is funny to imagine the 1890s forced US conscripts being sent to be slaughtered in the Colombian jungle under the words "Because, uh, we want to bring democracy to the Colombian people, though that democracy doesn't mean we are going to accept what they want, though...", while their conditions go down the waterhole as all the economy is redirected to maintain endless wars and occupations. In that situation I think the US population would rise in a couple of months and kick out the "democratic imperialists" from Washington if they aren't allowed to vote democratically for another option. It is a continent and a half, full of people with technology of your same century that prides indepedence as much as you. Why do you think they are going to receive you with flowers and waving American flags? Seriously, where is the "democracy" when nobody ask you before if you want to live in such a "democracy", and once you are there you can't freely elect independence as an option if you want to? What you are talking about is not a small island like Puerto Rico we are talking about, or an almost deserted California that you can flood with inmigrants, or a deserted Texas already settled with lots of yankees that will wellcome the stars and bars. It's a fucking continent and a half... and you want to annex it in a couple of decades or less and have not any problem holding it? That happens in the Drakaverse, not in the real world.
Strangely, though, the US did this quite a bit at the turn of the century in Central America and the Caribbean. Occupations to force states "to pay their bills", interventions in the name of American interests, the occupation of the Philippines, the dozens or hundreds of Indian Wars, where American soldiers were stationed to garrison streatches of the Plains, and more. American soldiers died at a regular rate from fighting and diseases, and all under the name of "White Man's Burden" and "Manifest Destiny," which was to be spread across the continent.

And you know what a big part of Manifest Destiny is/was? The spreading of Democracy to those who didn't have it.

Sure, there was debate and controversy about it, just as there's debate and controversy over Iraq now. But you know what? Those Presidents didn't have Bush's approval ratings. Don't make the (silly) assumption that the American people were any smarter 10, 20, 50, or 100 years ago than they are now. That's true of any voting population, but we're talking about Americans here.

For the record, all the posts I've made in this topic have been under the thought of the US being involved in Central America/the Caribbean, not South America as a whole. I know that's what parts of the thread were on, but not I. And yes, I do know that there is more to the Americas south of the border than desert. It's what came to mind, though.

Admiral Brown
November 8th, 2007, 03:39 AM
Really, empires are far from impossible. Rome held the Mediterranean and much of Europe for centuries. Britain held much of the world for the same. And assimilation/annexation of vast areas is possible, as China and Russia have proven. I'd like to hear your reasoning why African occupation was impossible, since you aren't making any arguments that can't be transcribed to Africa.

Who won the Boer War? The natives in rebellion, with knowledge of the countryside and a smaller force at the extremeties? Or the British, who had the men and the guns and the horses and the organization?

To put it more bluntly, who survived the Boer War?

"Empires" are far for impossible, but "democratic" empires are. You can't have a meaningful democracy if the "conquered" peoples want to get independent, for the reasons above stated. Rome might be considered a Republic (with great failures, such as slavery, of course), but that had lost all its meaning even before the republic's end. Why? Because since the moment it expanded throughout Italy and started ruling a large number of peoples who weren't Roman citizens (or who, if they were citizens, weren't allowed to vote because they were very far from Rome) the Republic had lost all its sense. For those beaten by the Romans, it was exactly the same wether Rome was a republic, a monarchy or a dictatorship.

Now, concerning the possibility of an mere "empire" extending throughout ALL South America, i think it's almost impossible. Northern Mexico is desertic, but most of Latin America isn't. It has all kind of reliefs, and all kinds of peoples.

You compare them to Africa and Asia, but there's a big difference: these peoples were in close contact with European ideas and tecnologies, they didn't mistrust them, and they were used to fighting against European armies.
The French and the British fought the Argentinians in the 40ies, Peru and Chile fought Spain in the 60ies, and Mexico fought France in the same decade. And the outcome wasn't very bad for Latinamericans.

It isn't the Russian Siberia either, not even Russian Central Asia.

This is the same people who had just fought against colonial powers to gain independence, and, though they may disagree on almost everything, the agreed on this: they didn't want to be rulled from abroad.

Certainly, there weren't many anti-imperialist crusaders states back then. But they were a lot of imperialists states willing to hurt rival imperialists states. The French sold weapons to Ethiopia to fight the French. The Germans did so with boers and Turks. The U.K. considered Brazil and the South Cone their area of influence. If the US tried to anexed them, British support of these nations, concealed or open, is almost certain. If the US gets stucked in Colombia, be sure that some European state is going to provide them weapons, at least for the seek of profit.

In a century were the British, who had full control of India, were unable to control Afganistan, do you really believe the Americans can control both the Amazon and the Andes? With the church against occupiers? With liberals against them? With Conservatives against them? With no support of ...anybody??? With supply bases extremly distant. How??? For how long???

And also, why? The US could impose a much cheaper dominance, an economic one, in most of Central and Northern South America. Why trying so hard to impose a direct one? As others have said, the very American people would put an end to this "adventure", as soon as soldiers came back with tales that would make those of Napoleon's army of the Russian campaign look pale by comparisson.

Rocano
November 8th, 2007, 11:52 AM
The Empire would have to start around the 1830s with sucess of All of Mexico Movement. Imperialist Senate invades Central America making the Mexicans Governors and Occupiers as the make Mexico a Protectorate while influencing American Culture.

Dean_the_Young
November 8th, 2007, 01:13 PM
For the record, I also believe that a "Pole to pole" empires is ASB unrealistic, except for some vague idea that the United States works some mutual union with a South American state before nationalism sets in. Which is in itself not likely.

However, I'd like to make some points/counterpoint.

[quote=Admiral Brown;1337087]"Empires" are far for impossible, but "democratic" empires are. You can't have a meaningful democracy if the "conquered" peoples want to get independent, for the reasons above stated. Rome might be considered a Republic (with great failures, such as slavery, of course), but that had lost all its meaning even before the republic's end. Why? Because since the moment it expanded throughout Italy and started ruling a large number of peoples who weren't Roman citizens (or who, if they were citizens, weren't allowed to vote because they were very far from Rome) the Republic had lost all its sense. For those beaten by the Romans, it was exactly the same wether Rome was a republic, a monarchy or a dictatorship.However, once again I bring up the case of the American Civil War. The conquered people had moved for independence, and had fought for several years for it. They had hardly been an occupied nation beforehand, giving them the similar claim to being free and independent for close to 80 years before the Yankees came down. But even then, after a period of less than two decades, they were re-franchised.

Democratic imperialism where the immediately concquered people are given the vote is, like you say, untenable. Imperialism with the intent to tear down local independence leaders and institutions, replace them with acceptable alternatives (local and not), and spend a few decades internalizing into the populace that they are a part of the conquering nation and not whoever they were before, all with the intent to eventually incorporate the annexed territories as parts of the nation, however, is possible. And it's been done before.

Now, concerning the possibility of an mere "empire" extending throughout ALL South America, i think it's almost impossible. Northern Mexico is desertic, but most of Latin America isn't. It has all kind of reliefs, and all kinds of peoples. Here I agree with you again. And I have never been talking about all of Americas, or even all of Central America (Nicaragua would be the limit I see, max, if everything went perfect, which it wouldn't. And that's if the heart of Mexico was bypassed, and the US tried straight from Yucatan peninsula.

And I'll also admit to being on the wrong train of thought when describing Central America. Central America isn't exactly like northern Mexico; it's more like southern Mexico.

You compare them to Africa and Asia, but there's a big difference: these peoples were in close contact with European ideas and tecnologies, they didn't mistrust them, and they were used to fighting against European armies.
The French and the British fought the Argentinians in the 40ies, Peru and Chile fought Spain in the 60ies, and Mexico fought France in the same decade. And the outcome wasn't very bad for Latinamericans.Ah, but I'm talking about places like Nicuargua and Haiti, not Peru and Chile. Much, much smaller and poorer places overall than the nations of South America. And I might also point out that France did triumph in Mexico once it set King Maximillion on the throne, and that the nations of South America had little to do with his removal.

It isn't the Russian Siberia either, not even Russian Central Asia.

I don't anywhere, except for the great plains into Canada, can be comapared with the Russian steppe, geography or population wise.

This is the same people who had just fought against colonial powers to gain independence, and, though they may disagree on almost everything, the agreed on this: they didn't want to be rulled from abroad.
Just? Didn't you say 80 years ago? Besides, that doesn't mean that they would win, or even fight well. The American War of 1812 is a case in point; a military caught at a bad time can be utterly trounced by a colonial power.


Certainly, there weren't many anti-imperialist crusaders states back then. But they were a lot of imperialists states willing to hurt rival imperialists states. The French sold weapons to Ethiopia to fight the French. The Germans did so with boers and Turks. The U.K. considered Brazil and the South Cone their area of influence. If the US tried to anexed them, British support of these nations, concealed or open, is almost certain. If the US gets stucked in Colombia, be sure that some European state is going to provide them weapons, at least for the seek of profit.This ignores, however, the fact of Monroe Doctrine and what it meant to US policy in Latin America. British colonies/dependants/allies were never subject to American intervention, and both the US and Britain were in agreement that European influences should be kept out, and the region split between the two of them. This was even as the US started interventions. Should the US start stomping around in Central America and the Caribbean, annexing small countries here and there, then Britain has a much better option than hurting relations and its considerable economic relations with the US by funding guerillas; it can make itself the alternative.

"Be our friends, let us sell our goods to you, and we can protect you from the big bad Yankees. I heard they just occupied the Dominican Republic, and you could be next, nations of South America!"

Which would be ridiculous, because the US wouldn't have the power to invade and try and annex almost any place in South America (though it might try to make its own lease ports, like various nations did in Asia and China), but it would certainly put more nations, big and small, into the British camp with less troubles than arming rebels of Central America.

In a century were the British, who had full control of India, were unable to control Afganistan, do you really believe the Americans can control both the Amazon and the Andes? With the church against occupiers? With liberals against them? With Conservatives against them? With no support of ...anybody??? With supply bases extremly distant. How??? For how long???Er, no? Haven't I already made that clear?

And I might point out that most of the extremities of South America that the US would be interested (Chile, for example, or the Amazon) are within close shipping distance, and that the US has always been a naval-tradition nation. Supplying occupation of the Amazon (though I don't see why the US would do that) is an entirely different level than supplying Afghanistan.

And I feel I must point out that there would be supporters. Fringe idealists/fools, collaborators (there are always collaborators), forced collaboration (blackmail, veiled threats). Religious authorities have always been open to deals; the leader of the Ottomans was convinced to speak against muslim Philippinos fighting against the US as long as the US didn't infringe upon their religion, and the Catholic Church has made similar deals in the past as well. So long as the Americans don't go around forcing conversions away from Catholicism, confiscate Church property, or don't try and eliminate Church influence in the area, then the Holy See could quite easily look elsewhere.

And also, why? The US could impose a much cheaper dominance, an economic one, in most of Central and Northern South America. Why trying so hard to impose a direct one? As others have said, the very American people would put an end to this "adventure", as soon as soldiers came back with tales that would make those of Napoleon's army of the Russian campaign look pale by comparisson.Here I agree with you again. Economic dominance is much cheaper and palatable than mere colonialsim, hence why the US in the end decided to let go of the Philippines. But there is a difference between economic dominance (American interests in, say, Cuba pre-Castro) and political-economic integration into the US, which is what the US states are. So why may very well be "we want a bigger border."

juanml82
November 8th, 2007, 01:38 PM
The Empire would have to start around the 1830s with sucess of All of Mexico Movement. Imperialist Senate invades Central America making the Mexicans Governors and Occupiers as the make Mexico a Protectorate while influencing American Culture.
Have you ever heard about the Bolivian war of independence? Here's the short story: 14 years of constant guerrilla warfare. Simply put: it happened.

As for nationalism, it was really strong. Nationalism in South America didn't start in the 1880's or something. It started in the 1810's and 1820's. Forget the 1830s, it has to be done in the 1890s. Also, the British would forget all about Monroe Doctrine if the US tries to cut British trade in South America.

As for US beneficially conquering Latin America (if someone can tell that that beneficially conquering someone actually makes any sense), well, it will turn flamish, but one can check the history of US interventions in the continent. They're abundant after WW2. They weren't precisely nice, and they weren't precisely good for Latinamerica. As for free trade, it's not a good thing when you can wool for sale and sweters to buy ;).

Dean_the_Young
November 8th, 2007, 03:53 PM
As for nationalism, it was really strong. Nationalism in South America didn't start in the 1880's or something. It started in the 1810's and 1820's. Forget the 1830s, it has to be done in the 1890s. Also, the British would forget all about Monroe Doctrine if the US tries to cut British trade in South America.Ignorring that the US would never be in a position to try and take South America, there's also the point "what if the US didn't cut British trade", like it didn't do OTL. British interests were never targeted in South America by the US. Conflicts were dealt with by negotiation, such as in the case of Panama, rather than war. Both sides had a vested interest in keeping the rest of Europe out of the Americas, Britain more than the US.

As for US beneficially conquering Latin America (if someone can tell that that beneficially conquering someone actually makes any sense), well, it will turn flamish, but one can check the history of US interventions in the continent. They're abundant after WW2. They weren't precisely nice, and they weren't precisely good for Latinamerica. As for free trade, it's not a good thing when you can wool for sale and sweters to buy ;).They were abundant before WW2 as well, I'll remind you.

Admiral Brown
November 8th, 2007, 06:17 PM
[quote=Dean_the_Young;1337031]This gets into a separate debate, about where a democracy starts and ends. Generally, a democracy is considered to be so in regards to its citizens. Policies outside of its citizens don't make it not a democracy. The Greeks believed slaves were necessary for the citizens as a class to exist, and by extension believed slavery (and by extension, empire) were necessary for democracy.
[quote]

The concept of what is and what isn’t a democracy is debatable, I agree. One can argue that Athens was the first democracy; but one can equally argue that it wasn’t, because slaves and foreigners, who formed the majority of the population, weren’t citizens (Not to mention women). But I’m certain that if a democracy, “pure” or not, conquers a vast amount of land, and doesn’t give the right to vote to any of the inhabitants of these vast geographic areas, her empire cannot be considered “democratic”, even if its core is still “democratic”.

[quote=Dean_the_Young;1337031]This doesn't change the fact that I personally believe democracies should aim to franchise all their citizens, and keep citizenship open minded.
[quote]

I cannot agree more.

Dan1988
November 8th, 2007, 06:28 PM
This if they don't take a diffferent approach: now we are the mayority and so, our federal representatives vote to move the Capital to Cartagena de Indias, to charge high taxes to the rich industrials in the north in order to fund devellopment programms in the south, and this kind of stuff. Until the people in the North simple fed up of their tax money being spent in the South and form a secesionist movement:eek:

Excuse me for being bad on my Latin American geography, but where is Cartagena? Is it the city located in Colombia? Or is there a Cartagena located in Argentina?

Admiral Brown
November 8th, 2007, 06:35 PM
I also, unfortunately, have to raise question with your assertion that the peoples of Central and relevant parts of South America would have fought so much harder than the Philippinos, due to "fighting such a bloody war 80 years ago". The argument behind that is that because these people were independent, they were happy with the status quo and would fight to the death to defend it.

I'm pretty sure it did not work like that. The various parts of India had been independent for ages, and were colonized by the numerically inferior British. Instead, let me make a counter-argument, with similarly reasoned points. (By which I mean things that sound nice, without solid factual support presented.)

You are right when you say the revolution had happened long ago. But it was far from forgotten. It was part of these countries identities. China or Persia didn’t construct their identity from a revolution against an occupier. These countries did. The revolution is part of the foundational mythology of this country, such as the ARW is in the US.

Many believe that if a people is under a non democratic government, and a foreign army comes, they will receive them as liberators in the best case, or they would do nothing in the worst (they will say: it’s the same, it’s just another dictatorship). Well, that’s not true when the non democratic government is felt as legitimate by the subjects, that is, when the ruler is perceived by the subjects as one of theirs. When the Spanish invaded Mexico, they received the help of the Tlaxcala (who weren’t under the Aztec rule), and of other nations recently conquered by the Aztecs. But the Tenocha, the Aztecs proper, fought to the last man, because they perceived their rulers as legitimate. The same thing happened when Napoleon invaded Rusia: the Rusian peasants didn’t see French forces as their liberators, as those who would overthrow the autocracy; instead, they killed every Napoleon soldier they could.


This isn't necessarily true; in fact, it relies extensively on mass coordination of the masses, which is hardly a sure thing. The Democrats and Republicans would have made sure they were on the ballot, and one of the traits of the US political system is for the two parties to work together to force out any third party by stealing the platforms under their own guidance. Certain political parties/people in the "empire" would likely not be allowed to speak, at least not until they accepted the basic "rules" of the empire (you can aim to guide policy, as long as you don't push for revolt/try to seceede/absolutely impede the work of government).

If you do that, you don't have democracy. And if you don't this party would appear. Nothing is certain, of course, but it's very likely. Coordination is not such a big deal if you have one language, one religion, an an educated elite.


I’m not saying an US conquest of Central America in the first decade of 1900 is completely impossible. But I believe it would have been extremely hard, and very expensive. And, since most of its benefits of it could be achieved through indirect control, which would have been much more tolerable for the local population, and much less expensive, I don’t see how this conquest would have worked. The very local American public would be against it.

Admiral Brown
November 8th, 2007, 06:40 PM
Excuse me for being bad on my Latin American geography, but where is Cartagena? Is it the city located in Colombia? Or is there a Cartagena located in Argentina?

In Colombia. I chose it because if you were to have a country streching from pole to pole (which I found ASB), the Capital might be in the middle, that is, in Colombia. Panapa city could be another choice.

Dan1988
November 8th, 2007, 06:42 PM
one language which would make their own communication easier

I slightly object to this. Yes, there is one language (Spanish), but Latin American Spanish in general is made up of national dialects. The Spanish spoken in México is different from the Spanish spoken in Chile, mainly in variants of grammatical rules, pronunciation, and in vocabulary. For example, in Argentina the pronoun "vos" is used a lot. IIRC México does not use "vos". So how can you speak informally? It's almost like the situation between France and Québec in terms of swearing. In Québec, swears are based on the Catholic liturgy and on various themes of Catholicism (the obvious and most-cited example being câlice, which translates to "shit"). By contrast, in France, swears are not that strong - they are very mild and sometimes pornographic (an example being Zut!, which translates to "damn"). In fact, if a Québécois TV programme is shown in France, it either has to be subtitled in Standard French or dubbed into Parisian French in order to be comprehended easily. The same is also true of French TV programmes shown in Québec.

Plus, you are forgetting:

Brazil, whose majority language is Portuguese.
la Guyane française, which is an département d'outre mer of France and thus a member of the EU; it's majority language is French.
Guyana, which is a member of the Commonwealth and whose majority language is English
Suriname, whose majority language is Dutch (though Hindi and Sranan, a Dutch/English creole, are also spoken)
Belize, which is also a member of the Commonwealth and whose majority language is English
Various Caribbean islands whose majority language is either English, French, or Dutch (or variants thereof, such as Haitian Creole). In addition, France still owns various islands in the Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin (well, half of it), and Saint-Barth, IIRC), as do the Netherlands and the UK.Just a bit of nitpicking on my part. Sure, standard Castilian Spanish could be used as a mode of communication, but when you get down to it, Spanish in Latin America is pretty much comprised of national dialects which diverge greatly from Castilian Spanish.

Admiral Brown
November 8th, 2007, 06:59 PM
We agree in the fact that the conquest of all Southamerica in 1900 is pretty much ASB. We may disagree on how likely it was a conquest of just Central America. I don't say it's absoultely impossible, but just very hard. Now, concerning this:

Here I have to bring up something; I feel you're doing what I myself am often guilty of: having a rosy image of a situation. Most people don't really care who the government is; they just grew up with it. Nationalism (which hardly had deep roots anywhere, let alone Central America) is dependent on being raised in it, it is not hereditary. Were parts of Central/South America raised and fed the American education systems's message "you are Americans, that is good", they would likely buy into it after a few generations. Just as "you are republican, you are good" can indoctrinate Americans rather than let them have their own preferences. Saying "they all knew what they did NOT want to be" assumes an unrealistic sense of unity of the people in question. Do you think Jose the Farmer cared whether his capital was Mexico City or D.C., if his crops weren't doing well? For all he knew, D.C. might have the money or means to do something about his problems, if Mexico City had shown to be unable to. Especially if the talk of D.C. sounds like it would cure the problems that Mexico City hadn't fixed, or had caused. (D.C. likely wouldn't help a poor farmer specifically, but he wouldn't know that.)

Of course, nationalism is not genetical: if you took all the inhabitants of Central America, and moved them to different parts of the US, Alaska and Hawaii, re-educated them, forbid their native language, and gave them the same rights (in theory and in practice) than those of other US citizens, their sons or they grandsons might forget who they were and feel true Americans. Or not (think of the Hebrews in Babilon).

But, as that wasn’t likely to happen, Central-American nationalism would have survived. Many in this forum don’t seem to realize how strong this feeling was (and still is). Maybe there wasn’t a Guatemaltec nationalism, or a Nicaraguan nationalism by 1900; but there was certainly a sense that this lands were not Anglo-Saxon. 40 years didn’t make the Filipinos feel American, nor did 100 years with the Puertoricans.

I’m not an apologist of the Spanish conquest, but it would be unwise to think that after 300 years the Spanish left absolutely no traces. “José the farmer”, living in Chiapas, might not have cared if he was ruled from Mexico D.F. of from Tegucicgalpa, or even if he was ruled by somebody how was greatly limited in his decision-making power due to foreign indirect influence; but he would rebel immediately if he was controlled by an US appointed governor backed up by the US military

Will he succed? I don't know. But this will be a source of inestability.

Admiral Brown
November 8th, 2007, 07:05 PM
I slightly object to this. Yes, there is one language (Spanish), but Latin American Spanish in general is made up of national dialects. The Spanish spoken in México is different from the Spanish spoken in Chile, mainly in variants of grammatical rules, pronunciation, and in vocabulary. For example, in Argentina the pronoun "vos" is used a lot. IIRC México does not use "vos". So how can you speak informally? It's almost like the situation between France and Québec in terms of swearing. In Québec, swears are based on the Catholic liturgy and on various themes of Catholicism (the obvious and most-cited example being câlice, which translates to "shit"). By contrast, in France, swears are not that strong - they are very mild and sometimes pornographic (an example being Zut!, which translates to "damn"). In fact, if a Québécois TV programme is shown in France, it either has to be subtitled in Standard French or dubbed into Parisian French in order to be comprehended easily. The same is also true of French TV programmes shown in Québec.



You are absolutly right. "Vos tenES raZON" we would say here, while Mexicans would say "Tu TIEnes raZON". :) I was thinking more in Central America and Mexico (which of course still have certain dialectal differences as you say; not to mention the indigenous languages).

Dan1988
November 8th, 2007, 07:09 PM
Well, I guess I learned something from my junior high school Spanish class if I got that right, even though I'm a French major at uni.

Dean_the_Young
November 8th, 2007, 07:31 PM
But, as that wasn’t likely to happen, Central-American nationalism would have survived. Many in this forum don’t seem to realize how strong this feeling was (and still is). And this is why I'm glad that there are people like you from different parts of the world, to give a balance of view. I might not (most certainly will not) agree with you on everything, but being able to hear an opposing view on issues from interventions to this is a good thing for me, especially since I am considering a possible switch in Majors to Political Science, with an interest in South/Central America.

Maybe there wasn’t a Guatemaltec nationalism, or a Nicaraguan nationalism by 1900; but there was certainly a sense that this lands were not Anglo-Saxon. 40 years didn’t make the Filipinos feel American, nor did 100 years with the Puertoricans.

Two points: As was mentioned in this thread, a part of the Philippines did ask to stay in the US; a Muslim-majority part, in fact. A minority section of a area that did not want to be with the rest.
http://www.alternatehistory.com/Discussion/showthread.php?t=75328

And for Puerto Rico, I believe the referendum speaks well. Statehood supporter has increased (but is not a majority), while independence movement has been frighteningly small. I have met Peurto Ricans (American citizens by law) in the military, and they "felt" American enough to fight and die for the United States, and to enjoy pizza and soft drinks, and loved football and soccer, and many other parts of "Feeling" American.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rican_status_referendums

Dan1988
November 8th, 2007, 07:39 PM
Dean, that's weird. So the Muslims wanted to be American, whilst the Christians didn't? Tell that to the GOP!:D

Dean_the_Young
November 8th, 2007, 07:44 PM
Dean, that's weird. So the Muslims wanted to be American, whilst the Christians didn't? Tell that to the GOP!:DI know. Strange, isn't it? Proof that they just hate us because they're jealous of our freedoms (tm)!

juanml82
November 8th, 2007, 09:29 PM
You are absolutly right. "Vos tenES raZON" we would say here, while Mexicans would say "Tu TIEnes raZON". :) I was thinking more in Central America and Mexico (which of course still have certain dialectal differences as you say; not to mention the indigenous languages).

Yes, but is that the big deal? In the end Argentinian, Chileanean, Peruvian and Colombian soldiers did fight together in the last years of the independence war. English spoken in the US, UK and Australia is also different and that doesn't prevent them from interacting.
Slang is what's really different, the basics of the lenguage is the same. Unless a rebel speaks with an intentionally close accent and full of slang, he can be understood. I would put my bet in native lenguages.

Rocano
November 8th, 2007, 09:41 PM
As ive said the Spanish-American war could not have led to a Democratic Empire only Territories. Now after the Mexican-American War they annex all of Mexico they become staunch allies of the UPCA. As the UPCA collapses the US goes in to prop up the government. The puppet government opts to join the US.

nemo1986
November 8th, 2007, 10:38 PM
40 years didn’t make the Filipinos feel American, nor did 100 years with the Puertoricans.



Really weird. all the Puerto Ricans I have met all see themselves as Americans. both in and out of PR.

Rocano
November 8th, 2007, 11:00 PM
Really weird. all the Puerto Ricans I have met all see themselves as Americans. both in and out of PR..
Yo i live in New york and i have trouble telling them PR is a part of the US

Admiral Brown
November 9th, 2007, 12:28 AM
Really weird. all the Puerto Ricans I have met all see themselves as Americans. both in and out of PR.

Well, I've never been to Puerto Rico, but, accoring to what I've read and heard, I had the idea it was otherwise.

There are two Puerto Rican exchange students in the University. I'll try to ask them on Monday.

Admiral Brown
November 9th, 2007, 12:38 AM
As for nationalism, it was really strong. Nationalism in South America didn't start in the 1880's or something. It started in the 1810's and 1820's.

I totally agree. There are some who claim nationalism didn't start in Argentina till the 1880's, when, for the first time there was a stable and uncontested government who could make sure all its laws were respected from Tierra del Fuego to Jujuy, and from Misiones to The Andes.

But I believe it started much earlier, during the war of independence (or even earlier). If not, how can one explain the letters of the national anathem, which dates from 1811, even before the declaration of independence???

(When I say "nationalism" I just mean "patriotism" or "a sense national of identity". Not right-wing nationalism from early XX Century, or anything like that)

Dean_the_Young
November 9th, 2007, 12:41 AM
Well, I've never been to Puerto Rico, but, accoring to what I've read and heard, I had the idea it was otherwise.

There are two Puerto Rican exchange students in the University. I'll try to ask them on Monday.
Just remember that two personal accounts might not be representative of the group as a whole. The two libertarians I know are about as archeo-rightwing-conservative as can be.

strangeland
November 9th, 2007, 12:45 AM
Democratic Empire is an oxymoron. Expansion of the US proper into Latin America would probaby be limited to Northern Mexico, Cuba, and maybe Panama. Again, the US of the time would not have wanted to incorporate large populations of non-white, catholic, spanish speakers, especially if it would mean seating their reps in congress. Democratic idealism only went so far. Now if you want some sort of Western Hemisphere version of the EU, now THAT could get interesting;)