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  #1  
Old December 27th, 2011, 06:34 PM
Socrates Socrates is offline
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American Revolution averted: effects on Latin American independence?

In a world where the colonies and Britain come to some sort of compromise, what would be the impact on Latin American independence? It seems like the lack of precedence in both colonial independence and Enlightenment republicanism could butterfly a lot. In addition, if Britain still has American colonies, it might be less sympathetic to the movements.

Which would be the first colony to rebel, and when? What would be the main divisive issues that precipitated it?
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Old December 27th, 2011, 06:42 PM
CandyDragon CandyDragon is offline
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In a world where the colonies and Britain come to some sort of compromise, what would be the impact on Latin American independence? It seems like the lack of precedence in both colonial independence and Enlightenment republicanism could butterfly a lot. In addition, if Britain still has American colonies, it might be less sympathetic to the movements.

Which would be the first colony to rebel, and when? What would be the main divisive issues that precipitated it?
I think, though I know little about such things, that Britain would encourage the independence of these colonies, so she could gobble them up herself if she wanted to, or to politically dominate them.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 07:32 PM
juanml82 juanml82 is offline
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Interesting. I think liberal revolutions will still happen in Latin America and Spain, however the Latin American ones will be even more cautious regarding independence.
The other issue are butterflies: is the compromise between the British and the North American enough to butterfly the French Revolution, thus averting Napoleon's rise to power and the Peninsular War?
If the Peninsular War is averted, then the Spanish king can reinforce the royalist garrisons in the Americas. And, furthermore, absent a French invasion, the junta movement won't get traction in Spain. In this case, we'd probably see some sort of word wide civil war affecting Spain and her colonies with liberals and monarchists fighting in Spain, Latin America and maybe the Philippines.

Note that if the Peninsular War (or any other foreign occupation of Spain) isn't butteflied away, the Spanish American Wars of Independence will take a more civil war approach than a secessionist one (as actually happened IOTL) and a negotiated peace might be on the cards if:
-The liberals take control of Spain
-The liberals negotiate the political power, parliament seats, etc., given to the "American Spaniards". This may also be influenced by earlier British sucess in quelling the (North)American rebellion if that's the kind of compromise the UK did.
Even in this case, however, there is still the issue of managing such a huge constitutional monarchy with early 19th century communications and divergent local interests. IOTL all large states in Spanish America disintegrated and were far smaller than a hypothetical "Democracy where the sun never sets"


If war happens anyway and a compromise isn't achieved, I think events will push for independence anyway and the UK will find in her interest to provide modest help to the Spanish colonies.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 08:17 PM
lord caedus lord caedus is offline
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Originally Posted by juanml82 View Post
Interesting. I think liberal revolutions will still happen in Latin America and Spain, however the Latin American ones will be even more cautious regarding independence.
The other issue are butterflies: is the compromise between the British and the North American enough to butterfly the French Revolution, thus averting Napoleon's rise to power and the Peninsular War?
From what I've seen discussed on the board, the French Revolution could probably not be averted by a POD in the 1760s-1770s. I think the conclusion that most of the more knowledgeable board members have come to is that the lack of an ARW would delay the French Revolution by a couple of years, but not butterfly it away.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 08:48 PM
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Assuming eventually Spanish colonies begin gaining independence they'll have to figure out a new constitutional system.

IOTL they were mostly based on the US Presidential model. This was not wise, although obviously understandable. With the exception of the USA itself the Presidential model has been a failure in almost every country that's tried it. The problem of the poor performance of a "checks & balances" system has led to Presidents either simply taking over or a military coup to provide functioning government. That's not invariable, of course, but compared to alternative models it has a horrifically bad track record.

With Spanish colonies gaining liberty, possibly or probably with British help, the Westminister parliamentary model will almost certainly be the one adopted (unless Revolutionary France becomes a stable democracy of some kind).

Now how much is culture versus political system is another question, but parliamentary democracy should help at least a little in stability of the new governments.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 08:53 PM
lord caedus lord caedus is offline
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Assuming eventually Spanish colonies begin gaining independence they'll have to figure out a new constitutional system.

IOTL they were mostly based on the US Presidential model. This was not wise, although obviously understandable. With the exception of the USA itself the Presidential model has been a failure in almost every country that's tried it. The problem of the poor performance of a "checks & balances" system has led to Presidents either simply taking over or a military coup to provide functioning government. That's not invariable, of course, but compared to alternative models it has a horrifically bad track record.

With Spanish colonies gaining liberty, possibly or probably with British help, the Westminister parliamentary model will almost certainly be the one adopted (unless Revolutionary France becomes a stable democracy of some kind).

Now how much is culture versus political system is another question, but parliamentary democracy should help at least a little in stability of the new governments.
That brings up another question: If the ARW was averted, would the presidential system come into being? Or would there even be a different alternative to the parliamentary model arising at all?
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Old December 27th, 2011, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post
Assuming eventually Spanish colonies begin gaining independence they'll have to figure out a new constitutional system.

IOTL they were mostly based on the US Presidential model. This was not wise, although obviously understandable. With the exception of the USA itself the Presidential model has been a failure in almost every country that's tried it. The problem of the poor performance of a "checks & balances" system has led to Presidents either simply taking over or a military coup to provide functioning government. That's not invariable, of course, but compared to alternative models it has a horrifically bad track record.

With Spanish colonies gaining liberty, possibly or probably with British help, the Westminister parliamentary model will almost certainly be the one adopted (unless Revolutionary France becomes a stable democracy of some kind).

Now how much is culture versus political system is another question, but parliamentary democracy should help at least a little in stability of the new governments.
Actually, at first many of the Latin American independence movement's revolutionary governments used directorial systems, or even triumvirates. Those systems might continue without the Presidential system laid out by the US - or alternatively the Latin American revolutionaries might invent it, or something close to it, independently ITTL.

To the OP you're still going to see the independence movements at some point, or the very least muted to seeking something akin to dominion status. The Spanish colonial empire was essentially a massive resource extraction tool, so you'll need something big to prevent the revolutions - something even bigger than the Bourbon Reforms, certainly.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 09:28 PM
Electric Monk Electric Monk is offline
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Actually, at first many of the Latin American independence movement's revolutionary governments used directorial systems, or even triumvirates. Those systems might continue without the Presidential system laid out by the US - or alternatively the Latin American revolutionaries might invent it, or something close to it, independently ITTL.
If France has something successful along those lines they might stick with it but they pretty much did dump those systems pretty fast (which is why I skipped by it). But the influence of the British might cut out those systems entirely, or at least make "what's the alternative?" directly lead to parliamentary democracy instead of OTL's Presidential choice they made.

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That brings up another question: If the ARW was averted, would the presidential system come into being? Or would there even be a different alternative to the parliamentary model arising at all?
It's hard to know. Certainly elements of a Presidential system might be adopted but the "checks and balances" sections of the Presidential system are almost certainly gone, and good riddance. The Americans were somewhat unique in trying to make government non-functional. Their success can be seen most directly in all those coups and rewritten constitutions in Latin America (or the modern Imperial Presidency era in the USA itself, although the centuries of ingrained democracy has prevented the logical next step in America).

As wolf_brother mentions there were some attempts pre-mass adoption of the Presidential system. Perhaps those continue (particularly if France uses one successfully or if the Dutch somehow reboot their Republic in popularity and strength).

Perhaps they come up with the Semi-Presidential model used by France & Russia these days. If one wants to get Thomas Wright Hill over into Latin America somehow then perhaps Spanish colonies go wild for proportional representation and come up with the Semi-Presidential system on their own. That'd be wild.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 10:21 PM
Socrates Socrates is offline
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So this might start with certain colonies wanting dominion status a la the British American model, before it eventually blooms into full on independence movements when the Spanish monarchy isn't forthcoming.

Without the example of an independent American state, they might not think its viable to go alone. How possible is it they would ask to become British protectorates?
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Old December 27th, 2011, 10:30 PM
Falecius Falecius is online now
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Actually, at first many of the Latin American independence movement's revolutionary governments used directorial systems, or even triumvirates. Those systems might continue without the Presidential system laid out by the US - or alternatively the Latin American revolutionaries might invent it, or something close to it, independently ITTL.

To the OP you're still going to see the independence movements at some point, or the very least muted to seeking something akin to dominion status. The Spanish colonial empire was essentially a massive resource extraction tool, so you'll need something big to prevent the revolutions - something even bigger than the Bourbon Reforms, certainly.
There can more easily be some monarchies TTL. Even the idea to offer the crown to descendants of the Incan dynasty were considered at some point OTL, and I can see this could gain more support absent a really strong republican model like the US. I'm not saying it would be a Tahuatinsuyo 2.0 of course: the Inca may be of Native ancestry, but real power would be firmly in creole hands. Otherwise, I think that Europe can provide enough spare princes of royal blood for any necessity.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 10:40 PM
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Even without the US there'll still be Haiti though - so there's still the example of New World independence/republicanism. The Haitian Revolution certainly isn't going to be butterflied away by avoiding the ARW.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 10:47 PM
Falecius Falecius is online now
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Even without the US there'll still be Haiti though - so there's still the example of New World independence/republicanism. The Haitian Revolution certainly isn't going to be butterflied away by avoiding the ARW.
No, but delayed French Revolution and ITS butterflies are going to have a significant impact on its outcome. At least, with a British North America there, Maitland (or whoever in his place) could have an easier time in fighting Toussaint L'Ouverture.
More, early independent Haiti was not an example the creole elites if the Spanish colonies were exactly keen to take, not the one of OTL at least. And it was "republican" only in a very broad take of the word.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 11:29 PM
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No, but delayed French Revolution and ITS butterflies are going to have a significant impact on its outcome. At least, with a British North America there, Maitland (or whoever in his place) could have an easier time in fighting Toussaint L'Ouverture.
More, early independent Haiti was not an example the creole elites if the Spanish colonies were exactly keen to take, not the one of OTL at least. And it was "republican" only in a very broad take of the word.
Most of the revolutions in the late 18th century besides the Americans and French were 'republican' only in the nominal sense of the word - especially because the idea of a 'republic' was still being (re)created then.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 11:35 PM
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Most of the revolutions in the late 18th century besides the Americans and French were 'republican' only in the nominal sense of the word - especially because the idea of a 'republic' was still being (re)created then.
Very true... still, if I remember correctly, most early Haitian leaders styled themselves "Emperors" of "Kings".
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Old December 28th, 2011, 11:25 PM
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IMHO we would see a diversity of political systems developing in Latin America:

Brazil: Without republicanism, would remained a monarchy until today, developing a real constitutional monarchy from late 1890's onwards.

Rio de la Plata (OTL Argentina and Uruguay): Land of the triunvirates and juntas....would alternate cycles of civil triunvirates, juntas, cabildos with strong one person dictatorships like Domingo Sarmiento or Peron.

Peru: Royalist stronghold, my guess is that Peru would remained part of the Spanish Empire after a serie of negotiations and deals with Madrid.....maybe would develop as kind of "Spanish Canada", with formal links with the Crown in Madrid but full political autonomy.

Colombia and Venezuela: Similar to Rio de la Plata but with a stronger inclination to one person or military dictatorships.

Mexico: My guess is that, like Brazil, the Mexican Empire would have survived until today or at least until early 20th. Century....
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Old December 29th, 2011, 06:43 AM
Timmy811 Timmy811 is offline
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t seats, etc., given to the "American Spaniards". This may also be influenced by earlier British sucess in quelling the (North)American rebellion if that's the kind of compromise the UK did.
Even in this case, however, there is still the issue of managing such a huge constitutional monarchy with early 19th century communications and divergent local interests. IOTL all large states in Spanish America disintegrated and were far smaller than a hypothetical "Democracy where the sun never sets"
It only really needs to last 30-40 years for steamships, RR and telegraph to start reducing those problems.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 08:57 PM
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So what time do we think these colonies will push for dominion/whatever British colonies have status? The 1810s like in our timeline? Soon after the Atlantic colonies get it? Later?

Where is the movement likely to start off? Would it be tax again?
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Old December 29th, 2011, 09:05 PM
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So what time do we think these colonies will push for dominion/whatever British colonies have status? The 1810s like in our timeline? Soon after the Atlantic colonies get it? Later?

Where is the movement likely to start off? Would it be tax again?
Before we can know that we'd have to look at the how & why of the American Revolution being avoided, and then from there butterflies; especially in Europe and Spain.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 10:12 PM
juanml82 juanml82 is offline
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It only really needs to last 30-40 years for steamships, RR and telegraph to start reducing those problems.
Yes, but that address the communication issue, not the internal conflicts. Also, IOTL, Gran Colombia, the United States of Central America and the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation didn't last those few decades
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Old December 30th, 2011, 03:54 AM
Faeelin Faeelin is offline
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It only really needs to last 30-40 years for steamships, RR and telegraph to start reducing those problems.
In a lot of ways the American and Latin American revolutions had similar origins; a centralizing administration which was trying to extract resources from the New World.

If this doesn't change, neither will desires for independence.
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