Word count...Plethora 1-7...8-16?
Last edited by Othniel; January 20th, 2006 at 07:09 AM..
Age of War
The 1860s is rightly called 'The Age of War'. Military historians have long poured over the conflicts of that decade, and political historians often find themselves faced with the question of why. Why was their so much bloodshed, so much conflict, why then and not earlier ? Or later perforce ?
The threads of conflict are not hard to distinguish, despite the fact that in the nature of things they all become entangled.
On the one hand, US adventurism into Central America had its origins in a wish not to drive the main parties apart on the issue of slavery. Thus, President Clay's adventure in the Yucatan, as a distraction to the vexed question of Texas, and thus William Walker's expedition to Nicaragua a decade later building upon the blocks already laid down. Central America provided an outlet for US energies, an outward focus that was sanctioned by the government and where a man could, if he were lucky win fame and fortune for himself. Set against this, the confusion that was California, and the wars against the Indians did not have the same appeal.
On the other hand was the position of the two major European colonial powers of their age. The one, Britain, finding her place again in international affairs under the leadership of Labouchere and Disraeli. The other, France, continuing a trend that had begun even with Charles X's expedition to Algiers, but had been laid down the more firmly with Louis Philippe I's backing for Mohammed Ali's Egypt. More recently, France's support for Said against the Ottoman and Russian forces had seen that conflict end as a tactical draw. The Ottomans had regained Syria, but French forces helped Egypt to hang onto the Lebanon, and French support for Greece had won it new provinces in Epirus and Thessaly. A draw of that kind would satisfy nobody, and many commentators observed that another round was in the offing sooner or later.
A resurgance of British power, a final soothing of many of the wounds from the civil war of the mid 1830s, all this brought renewed optimism to the country, to her traders, and to her people. To many a traditionalist the sign of a happy and successful country was a large and powerful navy, one used to enforce Britain's interests abroad, whether in direct conflict, as in the battle for Miskitia, or by the support of an ally, as in the support given to the younger Lopez in Paraguay. The renewal of conflict in South America surprised few people. For years it had seemed as if the Argentines had been biding their time, waiting for an opportunity to strike back, reclaim their lost provinces and drive back with upstart Paraguayans. In 1862 that time appeared to have come, but Britain and France coming to the aid, not just of Paraguay but of the sorely pressed nascent Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia, had dealt the Argentines another heavy blow. More land lost to Paraguay, a settlement of disputes with the Mapuche on their terms, and the devastation of their economy. With informal conflict against Chilean forces a part of the picture, and the resentment of the Empire of Brazil at Paraguayan aggrandizement, the British establishment of garrisons and bases in the South was no surprise.
Russia, generally eyeing the 1850s War of the Eastern Mediterranean as a successful venture, appeared to have continued to go from strength to strength, with incursions against the Central Asian states of Khiva, Bokhara and Khokand beginning to threaten their long-term viability, and gains made at China's expense helping to weaken the crumbling edifice of Manchu power. In addition, the suppression of a revolt in Herat, and intrigues in both Persia and Afghanistan seemed to indicate the continued rapid growth of Russia-in-Asia.
But the rest of Europe had not stood still. 1846 had seen the risings in Cracow and Galicia, leading immediately to the extinction of the Free City of Cracow, but more long-term, once Metternich finally shuffled out of the limelight into retirement in the mid 1850s, to the general emancipation of serfs within the Austrian Empire. A constitutionalist trend, originating in the upheavals that had rippled across the Italian peninsular in 1848 and resulted in the Italian Confederation under Pope Pius IX, finally had its wash upon the shores of Vienna, with the issuing of a generous and on the surface a liberal constitution by the Emperor Ferdinand.
These twin forces, of emancipation and of an apparent advance for liberalism, had in turn their effect upon the Poles of Russia. A general uprising soon spread to the other area of Europe where proud nations now seemed to be suborned to Russia, namely the Rumanian Principalities, nominally suzerain to the Ottoman Empire but in effect vassals of the Russian Empire. The advance of Russian forces into the Principalities alarms the court in Vienna, and an Austrian mobilisation and ultimatum eventually effects their withdrawal. But the situation in Poland is not to be solved with words or threats, but only with action.
French support for the Poles, volunteers allowed passage through Austria, or through Prussia, and diplomatic recognition for their envoys brought with it an increase in Franco-Russian tension. The death of Said of Egypt, and an Ottoman invasion hoping to take advantage of the instability in the region, brought swiftly upon its coat-tails a renewal of the Franco-Russian war of the previous decade. As King George of Greece mobilised his army and advanced into Macedonia to his doom, France's Mediterranean Fleet linked up once again with the Egyptian navy. Ismail's armies advanced into Palestine to meet the oncoming Ottomans, and French marine forces were landed once again in the Lebanon.
War was once more upon the Eastern Mediterranean, and in the Balkans the Greek campaign quickly became a march of tragedy. Austria acted swiftly to mobilise against Serbia, to send warships to sail off the Montenegrin and Ionian coasts and to impose their neutrality upon the conflict, lest ethnic tensions spread into the Habsburg empire.
But it was the death of King Frederik X of Denmark that plunged Northern Europe into crisis, and would turn one war into a General European War. With Prussia seeking agreement from the German Confederation for action in regard to the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, France which had already begun to deploy forces to the Baltic, and was in negotiations with Sweden, concluded a secret treaty with Prussia. Banking on British inaction, France agreed to act in consort with Prussia against the Danes, providing the naval dimension to the Prussian army, whilst Prussia agreed to declare war unilaterally, and provide access for French forces across Prussia to Poland in the event of victory over Denmark, which had to come first.
Danish efforts to negotiate or agree an armistice were swept aside as Prussian army units advanced from the South, and French forces were landed in Jutland. With the French fleet off Copenhagen and the main Danish army forced into surrender, the new monarch, King Christian was forced to sign a humiliating peace, ceding Schleswig and Holstein to their independent claimant, under Prussian suzerainty. Whilst the diet of the German Confederation was full of protests and anger, Prussian victory could not be denied.
For their part, Prussia honoured the agreement fully. With Paris the first to recognise the terms of thier victory, Prussia admitted French forces across its territory and into rebel-held areas of Poland. French naval forces and additional divisions landed in Sweden, and in Summer 1864 a joint Franco-Swedish landing on the Southern Baltic coast brought much-needed relief to the hard-pressed Poles.
Thus began two years of bloody war in Europe, whilst in the Americas, 1864 saw the election of the Radical Charles F Adams to the presidency, and after the initial promise of workers' rights and land reform, became bogged down in the question of slavery. Initially raised by the uncertainties in Mexican California, the issue gained a head of steam all of its own after the 1866 elections returned strongly abolitionist delegates from the North. With an abolitionist foisted on him as a running mate, and various policies suggested in Congress, Adams appeared to enter the 1868 election campaign with a serious problem. But as divided and divisive as the Radicals were, the Democrats found themselves hopelessly split. Unable to get a coherent message across, and increasingly schisming into Northern and Southern factions, the Democrats fell apart in the polls, and a victory for Adams became inevitable.
Secession movements began to gather strength across the slave-holding South. Wariness of the Radicals' workers programmes turned to outright hatred and open clashes in the streets as the crisis escalated. True to his family origins, Adams' concern was to neither see the nation divided nor to see it plunged into war. But inaction and vacillation were not what the situation needed. With the election won but formal inauguration still some months off, the Southern states acted. Still Adams resisted calls to arms, despite Ordinances of Secession in several states. Only when the federal capital itself seemed threatened by the debates in Virginia and Maryland, did Adams allow his Vice President, Charles Sumner to persuade him to act in force. By then it was too late to prevent a general war.
An independent Poland under Archduke Maximilian von Habsburg. Sweden regaining the Grand Duchy of Finland. A Persian rebellion threatening the Southern shore of the Caspian Sea. British backing for the Sikhs in pushing their interests into Kashgaria. An upswing of conflict across Dzungaria, leaving Russia with a toe-hold in Kudja.
These were the results of the General European War as seen from London. Paris would see the stabilisation of the situation in the Levant, the passing of armies across Palestine first one way then the other, then back and the eventual stalemate. Ismail, from Cairo, would view the security of his legacy with a nod, and the continued reliance on France with a frown. King George in Athens would have seen the destruction of his armies and the loss of Thessaly as the only result worthy of note. Only French marine forces landed at Piraeus had nipped a republican uprising in the bud. And it would be years before Paris would consider Greece to be stable enough to withdraw them. From Berlin, the possession of Schleswig-Holstein albeit through a proxy in the local dynasty, was the supreme event. An independent Poland was of note and concern to both Berlin and Vienna, but the governments of King Wilhelm I and Emperor Ferdinand saw the establishment of Maximilian upon the throne in Warsaw as a mitigating factor.
But just as the settlement of the war in Europe was bedding down, and bringing to stability the changes mentioned above, the situation in the United States was spiralling out of control.
Viewed from London, the secession of the South brought about a major dilemma. On the one hand the potential weakening of the USA was a blessing, and gave forth hopes of regaining complete control of Upper and Lower Canada. But on the other hand, a secession based on slavery roused strong passions among the Radical and Reformist political parties within Britain, and the Labouchere/Disraeli government, attempting to steer a middle path soon found itself in serious difficulties. Accused of being apologists for slavery, splits within the Whig partner to the alliance began to appear. A vote of no confidence engineered by Reformist leader William Gladstone, led to the fall of the government just as the war between the states was hotting up across the Atlantic.
US forces in the United Provinces of Central America were not regular army units. They had begun as volunteer units, formed from officers and men officially (if only for the sake of record) on leave, but unofficially seconded to Managua. After the brief conflict with Britain over Miskitia, and the replacement of the assassinated William Walker with William W. Loring the US Army had turned some of these volunteer units into auxilary units associated with the US Army, but not officially part of it. Like Loring, most of the men came from the South, and in the crisis of the Autumn of 1868 mini conventions were held throughout these units. Despite orders from regular US army units stationed in the Yucatan Republic, and Washington's pressure on Managua, these shenanigans continued into the Winter and after the re-election of Charles F. Adams.
With the crisis escalating in the early months of 1869, the Southern-dominated auxilary units in the UPCA came out strongly in favour of the secceding states. Next door, in the Yucatan, on one part corrupted by the actions of their neighbours in the UPCA, and on the other still part of the regular army, and receiving orders from Washington, the garrison forces found themselves dangerously divided.
As the South began to mobilise their militia units, seizing armouries and treasuries in the various states, the overseas forces were ordered back. Southern troops in the Yucatan mutinied, whilst the auxiliaries in the UPCA chartered sail for the South.
With the Southern Convention meeting in Atlanta, interim leader Alexander Stephens authorised an emissary to Austin to discuss an alliance with the Republic of Texas. At this stage, the government of Labouchere and Disraeli in London was still holding onto power amidst the maelstrom and indicated in secret counsel its approval of this move. Despite the fall of the British government, Austin was to agree to the accord, and in was soon to bear fruits.
Alarmed at the moves in the South, President Charles F Adams at last ordered federal forces into the South, drawing first on units which had been fighting the Indian Wars across the Midwest, and then ordering home the garrison in the Yucatan. Elements of the US Navy were dispatched to escort the troops home, and to blockade the pro-Southern forces from the UPCA. But Texas had already acted. Building on a strong historical tradition, the Republic of Texas had acquired a couple of small ironclad warships from France, and their deployment off the Honduran coast was enough to convince the US Navy from directly interfering in the shipment of Southern auxiliary units to the South.
Ending of Part 8
The America Civil War
The US Civil War, let's see if we can make this make sense
Basic points :-
The action from the Union is LATER than OTL; it may still come first as an overt act but in this ATL they have delayed longer due to Adams not wanting to be decisive, and only when Sumner and his faction force action does he take any. The idea is that during the meantime the secession movement has been getting stronger, and arming has been underway, not only from its own resources but from the Republic of Texas.
The involvement of Texas is intended to be non-belligerent, but Southern orientated. If the Union wanted to it could certainly come up with a cassus belli and declare war on them, but in the circumstances this is not the brightest thing to do, especially as Britain and France are the guarantors of Texan independence.
The United Provinces of Central America is going to head into great difficulties. President Loring will see his best units (which have become auxiliary US army units) head off to the South. Meanwhile over the border the US garrison in the Republic of the Yucatan has seen mutiny and civil war amongst them. As secessionist movements break out in the UPCA the secession-backing Loring is going to find himself fighting against principles he backs in the USA and accepting the aid of Yucatecan forces to put down his own revolts.
I envisage the US Navy as being in a poor shape after the combination of 4 years of Radical Party rule with their own agenda, and a rapidly-developing change in naval technology emanating from Europe which will leave much of what does exist obselete.
Mexico is not the basket-case of OTL, it has California and also S New Mexico directly under its rule, and has recently invested heavily in California as a response to US machinations during the 1860s. This has included increased naval spending, though with the revolution in naval technology now underway Mexico will find its lovely new ships are increasingly obscelent.
Deseret has no love for the USA, and as an autonomous province of Mexico it can call upon the federal Mexican army in time of need. I imagine the Mormons to be quite well armed and drilled. In OTL they provided very professional recruits to the military government in California and I can see an analogue here in their being used as THE federal troops of choice in that province, especially given the lure of gold and the dangers of US infiltration. As a quid pro quo, Deseret probably owns some of the best artillery and fortifications in the Mexican Army.
The run-up to war has been gathering pace since the 1866 mid-term elections returned abolitionist candidates in the North, it gathered pace with the choice of Sumner for VP running mate and the schism within the Democrats which made an Adams win appear inevitable, and after the November 1868 election its really taken off. Adams has vacillated but by early Summer is being forced into action by his party...
I don't want to write a blow-by-blow account of the US Civil War, I suppose it could be done but there would be so many factors to take into account I'm not sure I could do it !
One aspect that is going to be far more important than in OTL is that of the USA's neighbours. I've already mentioned the major players in the South (Texas, Mexico with Deseret, Yucatan and the UPCA) but the North is of some vital importance too.
During the 1860s Labouchere and Disraeli have focused to some degree on setting up Rupertsland as a viable and defendable colony in its own right. They have also been laying the groundwork for attempts to reclaim direct influence over Upper and Lower Canada, both of which remain very US-orientated. The outbreak of the war in early-mid 1869 has the curious effect of turning things on their head in London. Labouchere and Disraeli are instinctively pro-South in that anything which weakens the Union is a good thing for British interests. But in the Commons and the Senate they are defeated, charged with being pro-slavery and a motion of No Confidence from Reform Party leader Gladstone brings down the government. In the ensuing election a Radical-Reformist government replaces the Whig-Moderate one. The new British Radical leadership instinctively back their American counterparts.
This sees a realignment of policy in the Canadas, and an increasingly large split with France where King Ferdinand's government backs the Confederacy.
An added, and odd, complication is the Russian Empire, still reeling from its defeat in the General European War, one result of which was to bring about the emancipation of the serfs. British neutrality in that war is spun a different way by the new Radical government in London, and Russia's historical friendship with the USA, based on rivalry with Britain, receives a strange twist as the three join up in the North as friends, if not allies.
The British Prime Minister authorizes secret talks with the Union leadership, and in return for British aid in the form of weapons, finances and materiel President Adams agrees to a British proposal that would see Upper and Lower Canada established as independent republics, in association with the British Crown. This is felt to be an acceptable compromise in London, the British Radicals seeing in it a guarantee for the rights and self-determination of the Canadians on the one hand, and of a paramount role for Britain before any other power on the other.
I envisage the delay in action on the Union side to have allowed the secession of Maryland and Kentucky with the other Southern states. The first Union offensive uses federal forces from the Indian Wars that the Radicals have been pursuing fiercely and penetrates into Virginia. The Confederate Congress meeting in Birmingham, Alabama decides on that location as its confederate capital and uses the auxiliary units shipped home from the UPCA to meet the immediate threat and halt the Union advance.
Instinct versus Reality
Instinctively this ATL would seem to offer the best opportunity for the CSA to survive its birth pains, but realistically with Britain backing the Union I cannot see that happening. France is going to take its eye so completely off the other balls it has in the air, that it finds itself in a war on the other side of the Atlantic against both Britain and the Union. With France staying neutral, there seems little likelihood that Spain would do more than be favorably disposed towards the South. Ditto Texas and Mexico. When it begins to appear that the Union will win, I can imagine a scramble to disassociate themselves with the CSA, though at the same time both countries would probably benefit from an influx of Southern refugees.
I see a violent start, with more Southern troops than in OTL veterans and already in the field. These would include the auxiliary units shipped in from the UPCA, as well as units from the Texas borderlands. I can see several major battles in a desperate campaign across Kentucky, Virginia (no West Virginia here) and Maryland. Maybe there is a civil war in Missouri, between slave-owners and abolitionists (it depends on what the status of the state is - what would it have become under popular sovereignty without either Texas or the ex-Mexican lands ?). The capital of the Confederacy is in Birmingham, Alabama and at first the Confederate coastline is pretty secure, what with friendly Texan warships enforcing a sort of Open Seas approach.
Perhaps by Winter 1869 there is the beginning of a feeling that the Confederates better begin to see success in the next campaign season, that perhaps they are leaving it a little late in the day to get themselves established. With the federal capital of Washington DC back in Union hands, and with Maryland mostly under their boot, the 1870 campaigning season opens with major offensives in Virginia and Kentucky. On the Confederate side there is a diversionary raid into Missouri which for a while captures the administration of that state, but the weight of Union armies forces the main Confederate armies up against the second-row states (I can't find another way of describing them, the border is not a river and as far as I can see its something like the 36-and-a-half parallel)
By this time, British support is being felt most especially in naval circles, with quickly-built second rate ironclads arriving to bolster the Union navy. By Autumn 1870 the Confederate armies have been forced South into Tennessee and North Carolina, and have lost their foothold in Missouri. Their coasts are blockaded, and the CSA's allies are beginning to be more careful in their dealings with the Union.
1871 is clearly the year of decision. The Winter has seen the CSA build up enormous stockpiles of weapons and materiel, train up new legions of men, and gamble its future finances on the dream of victory. The controversial plan adopted by Confederate supremo Beaurtegard sees a drive up the Mississippi with one army, whilst the other pushes up West of the Allegheny (?) range. The first takes Saint Louis and briefly threatens Chicago before being defeated in detail, and the remnants driven back. The other also crosses the Ohio and gets as far as Columbus before over-reaching its supply lines.
With Union armies advancing down the coast through the Carolinas and into Georgia, and with both major thrusts now stopped, the Summer of 1871 provides the denouement for the Confederate cause. With only the army retreating down the centre remaining in good order, the Union is able to outflank it from both West and East, and supported by amphibious landings made possible by near total naval superiority, to encircle Birmingham almost before the march on the Confederate capital truly begins.
Confederate units begin to evaporate, fleeing across the borders into Texas or Mexico, or even to Cuba where the Spanish, after a lot of deliberation, give them asylum. But the Union is not interested in the armies which have run away, only in that which remains in the field. September 1871 sees the complete encirclement and investment of Birmingham. Late November sees the eventual surrender of its starving defenders.
Ending of Part 9
Ideas into the future...
Prime Minister John Sketchley of Great Britain has emerged from the American Civil War in a very interesting position. He and the British Radical Party have effectively steered British foreign policy away from alliance with France towards alliance with the USA. Whereas before anti-Americanism was a driving factor, at the Union victory in late 1871 it is principles which are lauded and not position.
The abolition of slavery across the USA occurs in the wake of the war, the Southern states are disenfranchised, and they must reform and reapply for admission to the Union. As a balance, more states from the old West are admitted, and with the US Army giving grants of land to veterans to settle in Oregon, the Oregon Territory is admitted as North and South Oregon.
This influx of people will lead to another major event occurring in the mid 1870s which will once again change the geo-political landscape of the world - the Klondike Gold Rush. In the borderlands between American Oregon and Russian Alaska settlers locate gold, and by 1875 a major gold rush is under way.
By this time Charles Sumner is president, elected on a clean sweep of the eligible states in the 1872 election. Charles F. Adams retires into History and the various contradictory judgments that will be laid upon him. Catching the times from British politics, the Northern Democrats reform as the Reform Party. The South remains under military occupation, with new state boundaries under discussion, new names and Northern officials overseeing what has been split into Military Districts within certain broader territories.
Tensions with Texas, with Deseret and with Spain remain high throughout the 1870s but the Klondike refocuses the major national attention. President Sumner has little time for the Russians, believing them to be backwards, corrupt and anti-democratic. He pushes US settlers' claims to the brink of war.
Tsar Alexander II of Russia does not fear war. He has spent the last decade rebuilding Russia since its defeat in the General European War. On the one hand there have been liberal reforms - the emancipation of the serfs and the establishment of an assembly of village councils. On the other hand there have been military reforms. The lessons of the US Civil War have been avidly followed in Saint Petersburg and built upon there. The navy has been rebuilt; devastated by the mid 1860s war, it languished for several years but in the ironclad, Alexander and his ministers saw the chance to take Russia forward once again.
In Britain, the 1873 election sees the Radical-Reform coalition returned for a second term under Prime Minister John Sketchley, and also the virtual annihilation of the Whigs, the fourth party disappearing as its natural constituency split either towards Gladstone's Reform Party or Disraeli's Moderate Party.
Upper and Lower Canada are made independent by joint agreement of the USA and Great Britain, self-determination for their populaces seen as the major factor, with both powers being the guarantors, and Britain reserving for itself some degree of paramount rights, mainly in the field of foreign affairs. Rupertsland continues to develop as a constitutional dominion, seeing some major expenditure in the far North-West as the Russo-American crisis gathers to a head, and Britain looks to strengthen its own border and forces facing off against Russian Alaska. Being posted to the Yukon enters English slang much as being sent to Outer Mongolia has in OTL.
Historians would later comment that there appeared to be some guiding act of providence keeping Russia's focus away from Central Asia in this period. First it was China, and then it was the General European War, now it was Alaska and the Klondike Crisis. Meanwhile, the Central Asian states, which had been under Russian onslaught for decades, were able to retrench and modernize, often with clandestine British aid.
The disintegration of Imperial China never quite came about. So much had been written about its death throes and its imminent demise, that when a new emperor managed to suppress the revolts of Chinese Muslims in the Central provinces, managed to re-establish Imperial rule throughout Shantung and create a significant and safe land bridge with Shanghai, and was able to beat off renewed Russian pressure over the Maritime Province, the European powers were at first caught off guard. They had become used to dealing with successor states, chief amongst which were the Taiping in the East, or Yakib Beg's Kashgaria in the West, and though the Chinese revival did not threaten these, nor several other entities which had come into being, it did cause a serious amount of reorientation across the European halls of power. And Britain in Canton and France in Kwangchow both found themselves in possession of what was still formally Imperial Chinese territory, held by military force of arms and ceded only by the Taiping in Nanking. Both powers found themselves having to open negotiations with a revived Imperial court in Peking.
For Britain this was not a development to be seen in isolation. The militarization of the Yukon made the Northern Pacific theatre one of particular concern. Whilst the Radicals were loathe to do deals with the Imperials, cooler heads among the Reform Party in London dominated, and by 1875 Britain had concluded a treaty giving her a 100 year lease on Canton and the surrounding province, in return for a guarantee of China's possession of the Maritime Province, and the supply of a half dozen armored frigates to China.
With Tibet having declared its independence, one additional source of rivalry appeared to have been removed, and with Dzungaria's petty statelets falling either under Kashgarian or Russian domination, a final chapter appeared to be being written on the crisis of the Chinese Empire.
But Korea and Japan were not asleep. Korea's rulers still attempted to keep a closed kingdom, but the Tokugawa Shogunate had finally accepted the necessity of opening up. With British, American, French and Russian ships continually putting into Japanese ports and demanding rights, the daimyo had proved incapable of coping, and it was up to the Shogun to show leadership and establish a central policy, lest the extremities begin to fall to foreign powers.
The influx of Confederate exiles into Texas, Mexico and Spain (via Cuba) has been one of those historical issues that arouse great controversy. It cannot be denied that many were well-trained, experienced and with a hunger to make a new living for themselves. At the same time, many, especially of those who fled to Texas, were young, brutal and escaping the imposition of Union justice. The refugee populations altered the political spectrum in some areas, in others they brought industrialization, entrepreneurial spirit, and in others crime and bigotry.
Did the abolition of slavery affect other countries? The French Empire, Spain's possessions in the Caribbean, and the Empire of Brazil all still had slavery. Maybe there would have been more of an immediate impact had the USA not become so deeply embroiled in the Klondike? Maybe the death of the Southern states, their military occupation and the emancipation of the blacks would have taken up most of her attention anyway?
The split between Britain and France which had occurred with the Radical-Reformist victory in the 1869 British election continued into the mid 1870s. King Ferdinand was ailing by this time, something eating away at him. Power devolved increasingly upon his son, and in early 1876 just as US-Russian tensions reached a climax, Ferdinand died at the age of 65. He was succeeded by his eldest son as King Louis Philippe II, 37 years of age upon his accession.
With tensions between Russia and the USA apparently on the verge of war, and with Prime Minister Sketch ley’s government giving overt backing to President Sumner, King Louis Philippe II's government found itself in a very difficult position. Heavily involved in Egypt, both from historical association and from the new Suez Canal that Sultan Ismail had inaugurated in 1875, France nevertheless began to swing towards an accommodation with Russia. Prince Robert, Duc de Chartres, was dispatched to Saint Petersburg aboard the French flagship, the ironclad Orleans, there to meet with Tsar Alexander II and sign the secret Protocols of Saint Petersburg.
I'm thinking the French won't get to intervene directly in the Klondike crisis as Parisienne Radicals denounce the treaty of princes and force a more liberal constitution on Louis Philippe II. However, the interlude has done its thing and defused the crisis. The USA and Russia eventually come to a settlement over the Alaska-Oregon boundary.
Sumner dies in 1877, his VP runs in 1878 but is beaten by the Reform Party (ex-Democrats) who put up a Union military hero, perhaps Sherman for the presidency.
1878 also sees the death of Pope Pius IX. I am thinking that amidst the manoevring for position, Piedmont-Sardinia will act to break the League of Italy and invade at least the smaller Central Italian states as 'back-up' for claims of Piedmontese leadership.
Radical France is going to be less likely to act than royalist France would have been, so it probably comes down to Austria...
Some Notes on Dramatis Personae :-
OTL in 1856 Charles Sumner received a severe beating INSIDE the senate for an anti-slavery speech - the assailant got off somehow, but Sumner took a couple of years to properly recover. In the ATL, this did not happen and instead of dying in 1874, he dies in 1877. It might be said that whilst his health was not broken in the ATL by this incident, the pressures of office, of having led the abolitionist faction ince 1866, been VP candidate in 1868 and elected VP, been the power behind Adams' presidency 1869-1874, and then president in his own right elected 1874, served 1875-77 wore him down.
Emperor Ferdinand of Austria dies in 1875 and in the ATL has been reigning all that time. He is succeeded by his younger brother as Emperor Franz II Karl, who dies in 1878. This date of death coincides with the year of the death of Pope Pius IX. In addition, France in 1876 saw a Radical uprising that has weakened the position of King Louis Philippe II.
The League of Italy, as established in 1848 on 'Neo-Guelphite' principles, is a union of sovereigns under the leadership of the Pope. For all of that time the Pope has been Pius IX, and up to 1875 the Austrian emperor being the same also brought in an additional element of stability. The death of Ferdinand, followed by the Radical uprising in Paris, then the deaths of both Pius IX and Emperor Franz II Karl in 1878 seem to speak of a new age in Italian affairs.
King Vittorio Emanuele II of Piedmont-Sardinia also passes away in 1878, and it is the accession of his son as King Umberto I which really sets the fire to the touchpaper of Italian politics. Aged 34, and seeing his opportunity as the bulwarks of stability seem to be crumbling around him, Umberto begins a series of manoevrings in the League's Roman headquarters, and when these fail to bring him the desired power, he mobilises his armies and strikes into Central Italy.
In Vienna, the new Emperor Franz III Josef, aged 48 and having just succeeded his father, looks upon events askance. The new Pope is attempting to assert his right to dominate the League of Italy, whilst the Bourbon-Two-Sicilies monarch, King Francesco II is rallying forces in opposition to Piedmont-Sardinia. For Francesco, his father's part in the construction of the League, has brought about relative peace in his twin dominions - under a personal union, Sicily and Naples have ruled themselves as independent kingdoms, the over-arcing body of the League preventing any anomalies and difficulties from threatening his position. But now with the League apparently unravelling...
Slight error, those darn US election dates ! Seems I'm not good counting in 4's
Election of Charles F Adams of the US Radical Party as president
Mid-term elections, return a large number of Northern abolitionists
Re-election of Adams, with Charles Sumner as VP
1869 - 1871
US Civil War
Election of Charles Sumner of the US Radical Party as president
Re-election of Charles Sumner as president
Death of Sumner
Elevation of his VP to the presidency
Defeat of the VP in the November 1880 election
Election of William T Sherman of the US Reform Party as president
The UPCA has been in chaos since the outbreak of the US Civil War in 1869. President Loring has seen the auxiliary US army units shipped off to help the South deal with Union 'aggression'. But the ensuing secession crisis in his own domain was only dealt with by bringing in Yucatecan help. By the end of the US Civil War in 1871 the UPCA is still in turmoil with major centres under UPCA-Yucatecan control. The US ignores it throughout the 1872 election campaign, but after Adams' re-election and inauguration in 1873 the USA turns some of its attention towards the mess that is Central America.
The Republic of the Yucatan has more or less thrown off US protectorate status during the war, but the UPCA remains an embarassment, and President Loring especially so as a backer of the Confederacy. In mid 1873 Loring is assassinated by paid help, and a Union-friendly president installed. US Army forces land in the country and march inland. By 1874 the United Provinces are very much a military appendage of the USA. President Sumner proposes a version of the Oregon Veterans Act for the UPCA, but take-up is less eager. Throughout the rest of the 1870s the UPCA is a minor running sore.
So, what do we have in the 1870s ?
UPCA reconquered by the USA, installation of a puppet
Acceptance of the Republic of Yucatan's independence by the USA
Revitalisation of Imperial China
Resolution to the Klondike Crisis by negotiation
Radical dominance in Paris, over King Louis Philippe II
Piedmont-Sardinia on the offensive in Italy upon Umberto I's accession, 1879
Death of the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein in 1880 - seems to portend an attempt by Prussia to take direct control, to take advantage of Austria's difficulties in Italy
Sherman's election to the presidency in 1880 also portends a new world...
Areas that haven't been touched on enough - what has happened in Iberia, and in Brazil ?
After the 1830s which saw Miguel win the civil war in Portugal, and through his aid Carlos V win the civil war in Spain, there has not been much mention of either.
A look at the royal dynasties will give some picture :-
In Spain, King Carlos V dies in 1855. He is succeeded by his eldest (of 3) sons, King Charles VI who was born in 1818.
OTL this Carlos VI had a difficult life, and died in 1861 after a failed expedition to Spain. He also died childless though he was married to Princess Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies, daughter of Francesco I, sister of Ferdinando II and aunt of Francesco II. In the ATL this certainly looks like a viable marriage, but it seems more likely that given a stable existence Carlos VI would both have lived longer and have had children. Thus, for the ATL, I have him still reigning in 1880 (he would be only in early 60s) and with a son, also named Carlos to succeed him.
Spain's position is not too dis-similar from OTL. Its remained outside the major European events, had some troubles with parts of its empire, especially Cuba, and in 1871 offered haven to Confederate refugees after the American Civil War, some of whom settled in Cuba, others of whom found their way back to Spain.
In Portugal, King Miguel reigned until 1866, when he passed away. In OTL he married late, in exile, and beget children only in the 1850s. This seems an unlikely course of events for a reigning monarch. Intriguingly, he was pledged initially to marry his niece, the daughter of his older brother Pedro I of Brazil (she was only 7 IIRC, but they did that kind of thing then, lol). After he claimed the throne for himself, Pedro recalled her then led a civil war in Portugal in her name. OTL this civil war was won due in a large part to British naval help. In the ATL this was not forthcoming and the civil war was won by Miguel. In OTL, Miguel made some efforts to get his niece back to marry, between her recall and Pedro's launching of a civil war, but Pedro was vehemently against it. However, Pedro I died in 1834. For want of a better plot (and reckoning this is a pretty good one !), I have Miguel make overtures to the Regents of Brazil in the wake of Pedro's death and secure Maria as his wife. They then go on to have several children, the oldest son of which inherits the throne as Miguel II in 1866.
For Brazil, in OTL Pedro I's abdication in 1831left his 5 year old son as Emperor Pedro II and thus brought about a long regency. In the ATL, I have Pedro I remain on the scene until 1834 (his OTL year of death) and perhaps never abdicate, or return from losing the Portuguese civil war and retake his throne until his death. Pedro II is thus only 9 when his father dies, and thus there is a long regency in the ATL anyway. As stated above, pressure from Miguel's Portugal sees his sister depart to be Miguel's queen. Pedro II will eventually come out of the Regency in 1841 (aged 16) and rule in his own name. He is still on the throne in 1880 (the current year that the ATL is abutting)
Pedro II had a son born in 1845, Afonso Pedro who in OTL died in 1848. In this ATL he survives as Prince Imperial of Brazil, and thus secures the succession for Pedro II.
Brazil has not fought an exhausting war as in OTL (the Triple Alliance War) and although smarting from being warned off by the British in the early 1860s, and viewing the Younger Lopez's Paraguay with some alarm (Jesuit Paraguay Gigante had claims to Brazil's Mato Grosso province which Lopez raises from time to time), by 1880 they have seen a long period of peaceful development. There are pressures, most notably from the USA with the emancipation of slaves there, and the settlement of communities of freed slaves in the US vassal United Provinces of Central America. But until the election of Sherman in 1880, the USA is tending to look more to other parts of the world than to South America.
As a footnote, Afonso Pedro's sister Isabel Cristina born in 1846, married in OTL Gaston d'Orleans, son of Prince Louis of Orleans. In the ATL Prince Louis is King of Belgium but he has his OTL wife in Viktoria of Saxe-Coburg, and thus Gaston can be rationalised into existence. If Isabel Cristina had been Pedro II's heir as per OTL there is no way this marriage would have taken place, but given that Afonso Pedro is being allowed to live (!) in this ATL, it seems a nice exotic touch to have a Brazilian princess head off to Europe to be the wife of the heir to the Belgian throne !
I'm trying to work out what happens next ! Peru and Bolivia are pretty much unchanged by events (though I guess Peru hasn't fought its war with Spain over birdshit), and though Chile is negatively affected by the establishment of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia in the 1860s I don't think it will have been thrown off its OTL course all that much. This combination appears to offer us a way into OTL's War of the Pacific.
But it will be fought in a different environment, but also in an environment different from the previous war in South America.
Hmmm, OTL 1848 France banned slavery throughout its empire (main effect being in Senegal). In the ATL that hasn't happened, a situation which was exacerbated by French support for the Confederacy whilst Radical Britain backed the Union. But 1876 saw a Radical uprising in Paris force a more liberal constitution on Louis Philippe II. Hence, surely one of the first acts of the Radical administration (apart from denouncing the Protocols of Saint Petersburg) is to follow the US Radicals' lead and ban slavery. This could therefore lead to a rapprochement between Britain, France and the USA. all in agreement on this issue, and have it even more in the forefront than in OTL
This in turn will bring pressures to bear on Spain and on Brazil
Ending of Part 10
A Shock to the System (America)
The 1870s ended as they had begun, with warfare raging across several parts of the world. The scenery may have been different but the bloodshed was just as real to those caught up in it.
The accession of King Umberto I to the throne of Piedmont-Sardinia had been the final straw that broke the camel's back of Savoyan acquiescence. The new Pope in Rome had hardly begun to deal with the difficulties of his position as head of the Italian League, when Piedmontese ambassadors began to push for a secular leadership, a larger role for themselves, some change from the past that would bring the Italian ideal closer to fruition. Although they won the support of many, there were equally strong voices raised in opposition. Fellow rulers, from the Grand Duke of Tuscany, to the King of the Two Sicilies to the Papacy itself asked why they should subordinate themselves to the leadership of another sovereign power. King Francesco II of the Two Sicilies found his position doubly precarious. Since 1848 his two realms had been legislatively separate, Sicily and Naples ruling themselves under his personal union, which under the Italian League had not seemed to be so great a change. With the League on the verge of collapse, Francesco could see the settlement with regard to Sicily unravelling also.
Watching with concern was the new Emperor of Austria, Franz III Josef who had succeeded to the throne after his father's short reign of a few years. With Italian holdings in Lombardy and Venetia, and with family connections to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the smaller duchy of Modena, Franz III was loathe to let King Umberto have the scene to himself.
From Paris, King Louis Philippe II watched with equal dismay, but less power. The Radical government which had taken power in 1876 backed the general thrust of Piedmontese ambition, and the role of the Pope in temporal affairs was seen as an anachronism whose time had come.
1879 would also see the return of bloodshed to South America. Already destabilised by the death of King Oriele-Antoine of Araucania and Patagonia, the South of that continent was thrown into further turmoil by a fierce row between Chile on the one hand, and Peru and Bolivia on the other over the nitrates industry. With Britain intervening in Patagonia to support Oriele-Antoine's chosen heir, elected by the Mapuche as King Achilles I, Chile launched into a war Northwards, aiming at possession of the nitrate fields currently in Bolivian and Peruvian hands. The initial phase of the war saw the conquest of the Bolivian coastal strip around the town of Antofagusta and the war become a naval conflict, with Chilean bombardment of the Peruvian coastal cities.
Meanwhile, in Europe, events within Italy had gathered to a head and using a perceived slight from the new Pope in his capacity as head of the Italian League as a cassus belli, King Umberto ordered his army to march on Rome...
What does it take for a dream to become a nightmare ? Umberto I of Piedmont-Sardinia was to find out in 1879-80. Having gambled on the non-interference of the powers he was to lose on Austria. Emperor Franz III Josef was loathe to break Austria's long neutrality in European affairs, but seeing Umberto appeal to Italian nationalism, and seeing a movement begin to rise up in return, Franz III declared war in the name of stability.
Umberto's armies had over-run the central Italian states, and were threatening Rome itself with the aid of a national movement emanating from the Romagna. Austrian intervention brought its own difficulties, risings in Milan and Venice in favour of the national ideal. King Francesco II of the Two Sicilies faced his own demons, the fear that his involvement would tear asunder the personal union of Sicily and Naples. But worse would follow if he did not act.
With Tuscany, Modena and Parma under Piedmontese control and with uprisings gripping Milan, Venice and other cities of the Austrian North, the situation was not good. Rome was under siege and the defenders were themselves split. Franz III focused the Austrian army on the Piedmontese, leaving his own problems in the rear until later, and deploying forces into Tuscany in the hope of cutting the Piedmontese armies in two.
King Francesco II mobilised his armies and focused on the relief of Rome. For most of 1880 war raged one way and another. At times it looked as if the Radical government in France would send to Piedmont-Sardinia more than just morale support and armaments, but with King Louis Philippe II battling every inch, France was dragged back from the brink of full involvement.
By the end of 1880, the Piedmontese armies were in retreat and the Nationalist forces dissipating. But things would not be the same again. Austria remained bogged down in Lombardy and Venetia for several years. Risings occurred in Sicily aimed at separation from the union with Naples. The Papacy had a rebellious realm to deal with, and the new Pope had lost all claim to lead a league of sovereign powers. The League of Italy was dead, and the 1880s began with conflict in the North and the South of the peninsular.
South America is going to be a key area at the start of the 1880s. During the US election campaign, the Reform Party (formerly the Democrats) make much of the 'lapses' in enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine. Especially of note to them are :-
- British Honduras
- British and French guarantees to Texas
- Britain and France as protectorate powers for Uruguay
- British 'interference' in Araucania and Patagonia
- Spain in the Chincha Islands
After the boost of Sherman's election in November 1880, further voices are raised about :-
- Cuba, where recently Spain has suppressed a decade-long native revolt, and where Confederate refugees have established communities, including ones where slave-owning clearly continues
- The idea that monarchy is not an institution for the Americas - this takes in Miskitia and Brazil
- That after the independence of Upper and Lower Canada, the continued British presence in Rupertsland is an anachronism
- California which many see as a lost opportunity
- Deseret where the Mormon state is still viewed as an anathema by many in the US political establishment
- Russia's presence in Alaska
Europe initially views the rhetoric coming out of the White House from March 1881 as simply a war of words, a letting off of steam. But it soon becomes clear that Sherman's administration has taken more than his plain-talk from his character, and is acting in accordance with the military philosophy he showed in the 1869-71 US Civil War.
The US Fleet, which has been built up during the crisis over the Klondike in the mid 1870s is at its peak. During the crisis a major naval base had been established in Southern North Oregon (around the Vancouver area) and a permanent squadron of ironclads based there. June 1881 sees the dispatch of this squadron to the Western shore of South America, coaling at the UPCA on the way. The Sherman administration's first act is to call for Spain to quit the Chincha Islands, and to offer to mediate the Pacific War between Chile and Peru.
Whilst Madrid reels from this unexpected action, the Summer of 1881 sees the USA send a squadron of ironclads from its Atlantic Fleet to the River Plate. Ostensibly this is to back up the American community of merchants in Montevideo who complain that British and French ventures get preferential treatment. The presence of the US warships, and the landing of marines during a courtesy visit raise serious concerns in Britain and France.
The visit of the US squadron to Buenos Aires and the signing of a mercantile treaty between the USA and Argentina adds to the tensions. Argentine rhetoric against the Mapuche has been at a high level since the death of Oriele Antoine and the difficult succession of Achilles I. The Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia calls upon Britain as its guarantor power should Argentina do more than continue the war of words.
In London, the effects of the first six months of the Sherman administration convulse the British political scene. Prime Minister Sketchley's Radical-Reform government is seen to be weak in foreign affairs. In vain does the government point out the gains made in association with the Radical US administrations. It only serves to outline their current weakness - devoid of their US allies, and with the new US administration ignoring their concerns, the British Radicals lose a vote of confidence in the Commons, and King George V dissolves parliament for fresh elections.
The October 1881 election results in a resounding victory for the Moderates, backed for the first time by the British mercantile community. With Disraeli having retired from leadership of the party to take up a safe seat in the Senate, new Moderate Party leader Spencer Walpole forms the first Moderate-only administration. With a mandate to protect Britain's overseas interests, his government loses no time in making it clear to the Americans where Britain's boundaries lie.
Together with a confrontational foreign policy intended to push the Monroe Doctrine, Sherman's administration also takes up the long wished-for plan of a Central American canal. The preferred route lies within the UPCA, but the Eastern terminus is at Greytown within the Kingdom of Miskitia. The US puts pressure on the Miskit King, King George III to accept a treaty for the canal.
Britain, as Miskitia's guarantor sees this as another attack on her power and influence. At the same time, the USA is threatening war with Spain over the Chincha Islands, and voices in the US Senate are being raised about Cuba as well. When an ironclad of the US Atlantic Fleet is despatched to Havana on a 'goodwill mission', Prime Minister Spencer Walpole acts and orders a squadron of ironclads to the Caribbean, to put into Havana first, then proceed to Greytown.
King Carlos VI eventually has to back down over the Chincha Islands, and cannot hide the diplomatic defeat. He abdicates in favour of his son, who ascends the Spanish throne as King Carlos VII.
The diplomatic tension on the international scene is eventually solved with the signing of a treaty between the USA and Miskitia. It is studied in detail by Britain, but the sovereign rights of Miskitia are not infringed and King George III's government in Greytown appears happy with it.
The peaceful solution leads to a degree of lessening of tensions. In the River Plate, US merchants are accorded the same rights as British and French ones in Uruguay.
In the Pacific, the US squadron puts into Valparaiso and brings pressure to bear on Chile to come to a negotiated peace with Peru and Bolivia.
Finally found the map I was looking for - I had to revisit a lot of old threads on this board, using forum search and the keyword 'Vandalia and a lot of interesting discussion I unearthed.
Given the state death scenario for the end of the US Civil War in this timeline, I'd see a going back to historical precedent as important.
The new states of Vandalia, Transylvania, West Florida and East Florida as shown in their approximate geographical locations on this map
Of course, what happens to Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, Georgia and the other parts of the interior is a complicated matter...
A gap of ten years between state death and readmission seems plausible, so these four states being the first to re-apply in 1881-2
Continued in 11B
A Shock to the System
The Europe of 1882 consisted of 2 empires, a multitude of kingdoms, principalities, some free cities and the Papacy, however one decided what type of realm that was. The only republics by name were the Swiss Confederation and the tiny Italian state of San Marino. The German Confederation remained in existence, though weakened significantly by the Prussian war with Denmark in the mid 1860s, and by the Prussian annexation of Schleswig-Holstein in 1881.
A brief summary of the situation of the major states of Europe follows below :-
The Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain, comprising England, Scotland, Wales and crown dependencies was ruled by King George V, son of the usurper Duke of Cumberland, known to history as King Ernest Augustus I, though the validity of his rule was disputed by historians. King George was in his sixty-second year and had ruled Great Britain since the compromise of 1836. He had been largely content to take a back seat, only occasionally intervening in state affairs.
In 1882 the government is a majority Moderate administration, headed by Prime Minister Spencer Walpole. With majorities in both the Commons and the Senate, this is the first Moderate-only government, and this mandate has given Walpole the freedom to act vigorously in defence of Britain's interests overseas. For the first time, the British mercantile class, alarmed at the assertiveness of President Sherman's USA, has thrown its weight behind the Moderate Party. In return, Walpole's government is promoting their interests as the primary motivation in international affairs.
The opposition Reform and Radical parties are going through a transitional stage. The veteran parliamentarian William E. Gladstone still leads the Reform Party, but after their recent election defeat, the larger Radical Party has dropped the ageing John Sketchley as leader, and has gone for a younger man with the sort of vigour believed to be needed to reinvigorate the party and re-engage the electorate.
The Kingdom of France
The Orleans dynasty has ruled in France since 1830 and the overthrow of King Charles X. The first Orleans king, King Louis Philippe I was forced to abdicate in 1848, his son King Ferdinand taking over until his sudden decline and death in 1875. Since then the monarch has been King Louis Philippe II, eldest son of the late Ferdinand.
The generally conservative make-up of French governments was rocked by a Radical uprising in Paris in 1876, protesting the compact of princes, as the Protocol of Saint Petersburg was known. The Radicals had no interest in seeing France dragged into a war with Britain and the USA over the defence of Russia's interests in the Klondike, and the first act of the new Radical government was to repudiate the compact. A new more democratic constitution was promulgated, and slavery banned across the French Empire.
The Radicals remain in power in 1882, in an uneasy co-existence with the king. The Italian War of 1879-1881 showed just how difficult this relationship was. Many among the Radicals wanted to intervene in Italy in support of Piedmont-Sardinia and the nationalist ideal, but King Louis Philippe II fighting a desperate rearguard action managed to prevent direct French entry into the conflict. The subsequent defeat of Piedmont-Sardinia brought little peace to Paris, and recriminations and accusations have become the order of the day. Politics in France has become a dangerous business, with mob rule and assassinations on the rise as the two incompatible factions face off in the streets.
The Empire of Austria
Emperor Franz III Josef has not had an easy time of it since succeeding his father, Emperor Franz II Karl to the throne in 1878. The death of the emperor, coming at the same time as the death of Pope Pius IX opened the gates of uncertainty inside Italy, and the accession of King Umberto I of Piedmont-Sardinia set off the war that has to date taken up all of Franz III's attention.
The Austrian tradition of not getting directly involved in European conflicts was no longer tenable, with their Italian dynastic allies in Tuscany under direct attack, and the Austrian holdings in Lombardy and Venetia looking likely to be next on the acquisition list of the Piedmontese and their nationalist allies. Franz III's entry into the war proved decisive in terms of the immediate conflict. With France dragged back from the brink of involvement by King Louis Philippe II, Piedmont-Sardinia could not stand alone against the might of Austria. The Two Sicilies and Austria joined forces to drive the Piedmontese back to their homeland, and to crush the nationalist risings across the peninsular, but most especially within Rome itself where the new Pope has his hands full dealing with the aftermath of the conflict.
But the end of the war has not been the end of the issue for Austria. Nationalist risings occurred in Milan and in Venice, and despite their being militarily put down the provinces of Lombardy and Venetia remain in tumult. Military operations continue in the countryside, and the towns and cities are under martial law.
Vienna's sense of crisis was compounded by the death of Duke Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein. Since the mid 1860s war, Schleswig-Holstein has been in an anomalous position. Prussia's action without waiting for the support of the German Confederation had created a situation for which there was little precedent. The separation of the duchies from Denmark, and the installation of Duke Frederick as ruler under Prussian suzerainty was also not a position recognised by the Confederation. The death of the duke, and the outright annexation of the duchies by Prussia has torn asunder the thin remnants of any pretence at German political unity under the Confederation.
The Kingdom of Spain
King Carlos VII has recently succeeded his father, King Carlos VI after the latter's abdication in the face of humiliation by the USA over the Chincha Islands off the coast of Peru. The conservative Spanish state was rocked back on its heels by President Sherman's actions and the threat of war. The voices being raised about Cuba in the US Senate added to Spanish alarm, and the goodwill visit of a US ironclad to Havana seemed a blatant attempt to browbeat the Spanish. Great Britain's actions with regard to showing that they would brook no US intervention in Cuba helped to stabilise the situation, but there was no hiding the loss of face off the coast of Peru, and in order to assuage the demands that something must be done, that change must come to Madrid, the sixty-three year old King Carlos VI abdicated and his son ascended the throne as King Carlos VII.
Tensions with the USA look set to continue for the indefinite future, however. The Spanish Empire still possesses the institution of slavery, and the presence of this on the island of Cuba so close to the US coast is seen as anathema by the abolitionists who now control US policy. Celebrating the French abolition within their empire in 1876, the US lobby has turned its attention on this matter fully upon Spain and on the Empire of Brazil. The additional presence of Confederate refugees within Cuba (as well as within Spain itself), some of whom on the island practice slavery, is viewed in Washington DC as an additional provocation.
The Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia
King Umberto I acceded to the throne in 1878, the same year that saw the death of Emperor Franz II Karl of Austria, and the long-reigning Pope Pius IX, head of both the Catholic Church and the League of Italy, as well as temporal ruler of Rome and the Papal States. This combination of events was to propel Umberto to take a massive gamble, reckoning that the time could not be more propitious. He pressed the case for a secular head of the League of Italy, for closer union, playing to the nationalists at the same time as he prepared to push the ambitions of the Savoyard dynasty.
The Italian War of 1879-1881 saw the fates of victory swing first one way then the other. Initially, Piedmontese armies over-ran the central Italian states of Parma, Modena and Tuscany and up to the walls of Rome. Nationalist risings breaking out in cities across the peninsular provided allies in all places, not least within Rome itself. But Austrian intervention cut the Piedmontese armies in half, and with French aid blocked by the desperate actions of King Louis Philippe II in reining back his Radical government, the writing was on the wall for Piedmont-Sardinia. Despite risings in Milan and Venice, Austria remained focused on defeating the Piedmontese, whilst armies from the Two Sicilies relieved Rome from the South.
The defeat, and the acceptance of that defeat in 1881 was a major blow to Piedmont-Sardinia. Despite the difficulties persisting in Lombardy and Venetia for the Austrians, and with Sicily for King Francesco II, both of those countries could at least point to overall victory in the war. The conservative approach to government in Turin has been shaken apart, and King Umberto I has been forced to admit opposition parties into a government aimed at national unity and stabilising the economy.
The Kingdom of Prussia
King Wilhelm I has ruled in Prussia since the death of his brother, Friedrich Wilhelm IV in 1861, after having exercised the role of Regent during his brother's mental incapacity for the preceding couple of years. It has been a period where the steady and conservative rule of his predecessor has been replaced by a strong Prussian growth, and a particularism as Prussia increasingly breaks with the political idea of the German Confederation.
The mid 1860s with the death of King Frederick VII in 1863 saw Prussia become involved, ostensibly for the interests of the ducal claimant Duke Frederick, but mainly for reasons of national prestige. An alliance with France, an ignoring of the German Confederation, and a war with Denmark which saw its utter conquest and defeat gave Prussia the duchies as a protectorate under Duke Frederick's direct rule. This war, termed the General European War, also saw the establishment of an independent Poland under the Austrian Archduke Maximilian, a settlement which assuaged Prussian fears for their own Polish provinces.
The death of Duke Frederick, in the middle of the Italian War, offered Prussia an opportunity to intervene to seize the duchies as an integral part of the kingdom. Protests from the German Confederation were brushed aside, and Austria being militarily involved in the South no direct challenge was made to Prussia's actions except with words.
In the year or so of Prussian rule, naval facilities have been built up at the port of Kiel, and plans for a canal across the isthmus have been unveiled.
King Wilhelm I, despite his advanced age of eighty-four, remains in good health and well in control of his kingdom. His son and heir, Crown Prince Friedrich is wed to Princess Eleanor, oldest daughter of King George V of Great Britain. They have several children, including two sons, Prince Wilhelm and Prince Georg Friedrich.
The Kingdom of Poland
King Maximilian has ruled Poland since its rebirth as an independent state in the mid 1860s as a result of the General European War. The brother of Emperor Franz III Josef of Austria, Maximilian retains close ties with the land of his birth.
Married to Princess Maria of Portugal (daughter of King Miguel I and his niece/wife Maria de Gloria, Princess Maria was born in 1840), King Maximilian has sired five children, including two sons to ensure the Polish succession.
The Polish state is at heart a conservative one, but a number of liberal reforms have been instigated at Maximilian's inception. The constitution remains a balance between that imposed by Austria, and desired by Prussia, not to create difficulties in their realms, and a more liberal trend evinced by the king himself.
The Kingdom of Belgium
Under King Louis I, Belgium has grown to be an economic powerhouse of Western Europe. Second son of the late King Louis Philippe I of France, King Louis was born in 1814, and is thus in his late sixties. Married to Viktoria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, they have two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Prince Gaston, heir to the throne, is wed to Princess Isabel Cristina of the Empire of Brazil, sister of the Prince Imperial Afonso Pedro and second child of Emperor Pedro II. Prince Gaston and Princess Isabel Cristina have ensured the succession with a number of children, including sons.
Belgium's birth in the early 1830s brought with it the provinces of Luxembourg and Limburg in their entirety, as well as a lasting emnity with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. These provinces have helped Belgium's growth to one of the primary economic powers in Europe at the dawn of the 1880s. Belgian industry is booming, and Belgian enterprise owns businesses in several other countries, most especially within the smaller states, neighbours of Belgium within the German Confederation.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands
King Willem III is the third monarch of the Orange dynasty, grandson of the first Willem who reigned during the secession war with Belgium (and France) in the early 1830s, and son of Willem II who died in 1849.
The history of the Netherlands since that period has been defined by rivalry with and hatred of Belgium and France. This has been marked by a militarisation of Dutch society, the maintenance of strong border fortifications, especially in Northern Brabant which Belgian nationalists often name as their aim for the fulfillment of their national ambitions.
The Netherlands navy has remained at a strong level, and a focus has continued on imperial ambitions. King Willem III's rule has seen the Netherlands remain uninvolved in various European wars, the king exerting an influence over his ministers to ensure that if the Netherlands were to involve itself in a war of revenge it would be in advantageous circumstances.
King Willem has had three sons, one of whom died young, but the heir in Prince Willem and his brother Prince Alexander remain in the line of succession. The relationship between King Willem III and Crown Prince Willem is a very acrimonious one and they are barely on speaking terms. Prince Willem maintains his own mini-court and has been quoted as saying that he is simply waiting for his father to die so to take over the reins of power. Recently married to Princess Sophia of Great Britain (the eldest daughter of Prince George, Prince of Wales), Crown Prince Willem seems to be looking to ensure his own dynastic line and deny his brother the succession.
Prince Alexander remains closer to his father, and were the Crown Prince to die before fathering an heir, Dutch society believes that King Willem III would smile on the succession of his youngest son.
The Russian Empire
Tsar Aleksandr II has ruled since the unpleasantness of the mid 1860s which ended with the death of his father, Tsar Nicholas I. Aleksandr II's reign has thus seen the peace treaty that ceded Poland to independence under a Habsburg Archduke and Finland to the crown of Sweden, as well as seeing Russia's influence in the (Rumanian) Principalities cut back.
This Russian Empire includes South Azerbaijan and the Southern shore of the Caspian Sea, as well as Herat, but the states of Khokand, Khiva, Bokhara and Kashgaria remain independent in Central Asia, as do Afghanistan and the Sikh state of Lahore-Punjab. The Dzungarian mini-states are all largely fallen under Russian influence, with Kuldja directly annexed. Russia and Kashgaria continue to contest some of the border Dzungarian states whose rulers attempt to retain independence by playing one off against the other.
In the East, Russia gained the Northern area of disputed territory from China, but failed to prise the Maritime Province from the Chi'ing. Alaska remains Russian, with the mid 1870s Klondike Crisis having stabilised the region despite almost landing the Russian Empire in war against the USA and Great Britain. The abortive Protocol of Saint Petersburg with France nevertheless had the result of defusing the crisis, and the 1876 settlement recognised Russian claims in part of the disputed territory. The US presence in Northern Oregon (OTL British Columbia) continues to be seen as a danger in Saint Petersburg, though the Anglo-US tensions since the election of President Sherman has given some cheer to the Russian position.
The mid 1870s crisis gave an additional impetus to Russian naval construction, and both the Baltic and Mediterranean fleets now boast a number of modern ironclads. The largest base in the East remains New Archangel near to the island of Kodiak.
Within Russia, a long-term result of the mid 1860s war has been the emancipation of the serfs across Russia. The eventual result of this policy is not yet clear, and Tsar Aleksandr II contiinues to rule mostly upon autocratic principles. His eldest son and heir is the Tsesarevitch Nicholas, married to Princess Dagmar of Denmark.
The Kingdom of Greece
King George I of the Mecklenburg dynasty has ruled in person since the 1840s. His first venture into foreign affairs was in the later 1850s' Eastern Mediterranean War where in alliance with France, and chiefly due to French aid, Greece defeated an Ottoman army and gained the provinces of Epirus and Thessaly in the peace. During the General European War of the mid 1860s, Greece tried again, this time with disastrous results. The Greek army was annihilated by the Ottomans, and the province of Thessaly lost in the peace. Only the landing of French marines at Piraeus prevented the success of a republican rising in Athens.
King George I continued to reign. But the French remained in Piraeus/Athens until the late 1870s when the Radical government in Paris withdrew them.
Politics in Greece is wracked by factionalism. The king's party is but one of several in the Athens assembly, and his writ depends on the party able to form a majority at the time. The politicalisation of the monarchy has weakened the parliamentary system and it has become very much a question of the king against the opposition.
The Kingdom of Sweden
King Oscar II acceded to the throne in 1872, upon the death of his predecessor King Carl XV who had reigned during the General European War in the mid 1860s. King Carl XV had allied with France, seen off Denmark in alliance with Prussia, then defeated Russia over Poland, and in the peace regained the Grand Duchy of Finland as a prize.
Sweden has thus retained close ties with France, Prussia and Poland since the war, the spectre of a resurgent vengeful Russia very stark within the minds of her government ministers.
The Kingdom of Portugal
Since the civil war of the late 1820s-early 1830s, Portugal has been ruled by the Miguelista branch of the Braganza dynasty. With the Empire of Brazil under the senior Pedro line, Portugal saw the brother of Emperor Pedro I, Prince Miguel seize power, defeat his brother and the liberal opposition in a civil war, and anchor his rule upon the kingdom.
After the death of his brother in the mid 1830s, King Miguel I married his niece the young Maria de Gloria, daughter of Pedro I. He aided King Carlos V in his brief struggle for the crown within Spain, defeating the daughter of Ferdinand VII. With Iberia united in a conservative religious sentiment, Portugal proceded through the following decades with little impact on world affairs.
The death of Miguel I in 1866 was followed by the succession of his son, King Miguel II. Portugal continues to be a conservative Catholic country with little involvement in great power affairs. The eldest daughter of Miguel I, Princess Maria was taken as a bride by Archduke Maximilian of Austria, later King of Poland, so thus the sister of King Miguel II is King of Poland.
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Since 1848, the Two Sicilies has been a dual monarchy under a personal union. Sicily and Naples have had their own separate legislatures and been united only in the person of the King of the Two Sicilies, and in membership of the League of Italy.
King Francesco II was very much aware of this when in 1879 King Umberto I of Piedmont-Sardinia plunged the Italian peninsular into war. His dominions had been free of strife since the settlement under the League of Italy, but the breaking apart of this settlement, starting with the death of Pope Pius IX and continuing with King Umberto I's military advance into central Italy, seemed to presage disaster for the Two Sicilies.
Nationalist uprisings affected Italian cities outside the Two Sicilies more than within, and there seemed to be a moment of victory when King Francesco II's armies marched to the relief of Rome in 1881, in concert with their Austrian allies from the North.
But the League of Italy was dead, and Francesco II had to deal with a renewal of the Sicilian revolt. Content to be seen as equals within Italy under the League, the Sicilians had no wish to return to being subordinated to the King in Naples. The war continues in 1882, and if Francesco II is to regain control of the island he will need a military solution
The Kingdom of Denmark
Shattered by the mid 1860s war with Prussia, and France, Denmark has never fully recovered from the trauma. The death of King Frederick VII in 1863 had sparked the war, with Prussia invading to secure the independence of the duchies of Holstein and Schleswig under the claimant for their ducal crown, Duke Frederick. Prussia's involvement was hardly an altruistic one, the duchies fell under Prussian domination, and the German Confederation was side-lined.
But it was Denmark who suffered. Prussian forces advanced up the peninsular, whilst French naval-borne forces attacked the capital. The twin assault had the inevitable result, the surrender of Denmark and the cession of the duchies.
King Christian IX was left to rule over a country with a ruined economy and a devastated infrastructure. To his merit, the last decade and a half has seen a slow but steady revival, but Denmark remains deeply scarred as a nation, and military service is universal. The fear of a repeat performance from Prussia, or from any nation attempting to take advantage of perceived Danish weakness, has led the country to be very much a nation under arms. Although small, the Danish Navy consists of modern ironclads, and is kept up-to-date.
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
1848 was a defining year for the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. An autonomist revolt in Sicily sparked a constitutionalist rising in Naples, and soon the granting of constitutions raged across the Italian peninsular. The arousal of nationalist feeling was channelled by King Ferdinando II and Pope Pius IX into the League of Italy, an association of sovereigns under the leadership of the Pope, and modelled very much on the German Confederation.
The League of Italy allowed King Ferdinando II to separate his realms, and to rule as king of Sicily with its own institutions. Under the League of Italy, this worked well and Sicily, so long home to risings and rebellions, settled down. King Ferdinando II died in 1859 and was succeeded by his son, King Francesco II.
The successful rule of King Francesco II (or 'Bamba' as he was affectionally known) was shattered by the Italian War of 1879-1881. This was sparked by the death of Pope Pius IX, and the new King of Piedmont-Sardinia, Umberto I, with his desire to transform the League into a nationalist force with himself to be placed at the head. Together with Austria, it was the arms of the Two Sicilies who swept back the nationalist forces, lifted the siege of Rome and restored the status quo ante-bellum.
But the League was dead. The new Pope had his hands full dealing with problems in the Papal States, and the will to revive the League was lacking. For King Francesco II this was the beginning of a new period of difficulties. Sicily once again emerged as a problem, and by 1882 is in full rebellion, seeking complete independence for itself.
The Kingdom of Ireland
Independent in the 1836 settlement of the British Civil War, Ireland has been ruled since by King Francis I, third son of King Louis Philippe I of France. Ireland thus became the third Orleans kingdom in Europe, and for a while formed a bloc with France and Belgium.
Ireland is a Catholic country. The civil war which began very much with the Irish risings against the failure of the bills for Catholic Emancipation, ended with the driving of the majority Protestant population from the North. Massacres and atrocities were the order of the day on both sides of the conflict, but in the decades since the settlement Ireland has settled down to a peaceful existence.
Largely an agrarian country, there has been a fair degree of industrialisation over recent decades, though this is mainly centred in a few of the biggest cities. Ireland retains a small professional standing army, but the days when the fear of British revanchist plans could produce real fears are long gone. The navy, initially strong with ships bought from France, now consists of mainly a coastal protection force, with some cruisers to show the flag on overseas stations.
The Kingdom of Bavaria
King Ludwig II succeeded his grandfather, Ludwig I as King of Bavaria in 1868, his father Crown Prince Maximilian having died in 1864. Born in 1845, Ludwig II is not yet forty years of age and has been king for most of his adult life. Something of an enigma, Ludwig II remains very popular with the people, but is less highly regarded in more powerful circles. His profligacy and his refusal to marry have caused difficulties with successive governments, but it is said that coming to terms with their monarch's eccentricities is a mark of fitness to govern. Ludwig II's heir is thus his younger brother, Prince Otto, although alarmingly he too remains unmarried, though aged only in his early thirties.
It cannot be denied that under the rule of King Ludwig II, Bavaria has prospered and managed to avoid being dragged into the various conflicts that have occurred, or threatened to occur in the past few decades. Bavaria is in fact generally happy with the demise of the political function of the German Confederation, having viewed it as an imposition upon their sovereignty. Although very wary of Prussia's designs, Bavaria believes that it has been freed from unnecessary chains, and in 1882 the future looks rosy.
Politically closely-allied with Austria, dynastic relations between the countries are also close.
The Kingdom of Hannover
Carved off from personal union with Great Britain by the 1836 settlement of the British Civil War, Hannover has been ruled since that date by the Cambridge branch of the Hannoverian dynasty. King Adolphus I, Duke of Cambridge had been the chief lieutenant of his brother King Ernest Augustus within the kingdom. This position as viceroy was translated into that of king by the settlement, and King Adolphus ruled until his death in 1850.
A large number of High Tory refugees, aristocrats under attainder after the conclusion of the civil war in Great Britain, settled in Hannover. Many of these have been accorded Hannoverian noble titles, though the most ostentatious still use, illegally, their confiscated British titles, some of which have since been granted to new holders back in Great Britain. This exiled aristocracy has seen a number of defections, largely amongst the sons of the original exiles who shared less in their political beliefs and were happy to make their peace with the King in London after decades of exile. This has largely died out now, and those exiles who remain in Hannover are now more Hannoverian than British. They comprise a small but important political establishment, and wield a fair degree of power within Hannover.
The current King of Hannover, King George V, shares his name and numeric identifier with his first cousin across the water in London. To distinguish the two, the Hannoverian monarch is usually referred to by his German name of Georg.
Hannover remains a fairly conservative country, and has avoided the conflicts within Germany over the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The demise of the political role of the German Confederation is viewed largely with disinterest within Hannover. The rise of Prussia is seen as a danger, and the plans to build a canal from Kiel across the isthmus to the North Sea is viewed with concern, as a threat to Hannoverian commerce.
The Kingdom of Saxony
Prior to the General European War in the mid 1860s, Saxony had traditionally looked to Russia as a balance against their powerful Prussian neighbour. But the defeat of Russia and the recreation of an independent Poland under a Habsburg archduke changed all this. With Poland as a neighbour, Saxony could no longer look to Russia for anything more than moral support. Politically, Saxony who had hoped to form part of a union of German states of the second order, was forced to rely on Austria in case of crisis, to compromise the hopes of breaking free from the Prussia-or-Austria situation that in Saxon eyes did not bring much of benefit to the other German powers.
King Albrecht succeeded his father, King Johann, upon the latter's death in 1872. Although married to a Swedish princess, King Albrecht has no children, and his heir is his brother, Prince Georg. Saxony is a constitutional monarchy, with the power of day-to-day affairs in the hands of a Prime Minister.
Saxony's response to Prussia's annexation of Schleswig and Holstein has been muted, though the effective end to the political function of the German Confederation has been greeted with a mixture of regret and concern. Prussian actions without recourse to the desires of the other German powers, seems to presage a greater threat to Saxony. As a consequence, 1882 has seen a new Army Act and a planned increase of the standing army to over 30,000. Some sort of formal alliance with Austria is also being discussed, but the etiquette for this remains confused as the German Confederation, although in its political function redundant, nevertheless continues to exist.
The Kingdom of Wurttemberg
King Karl I of Wurttemberg succeeded his father, King Wilhelm I in 1864. Although married to a Grand Duchess of Russia (Olga, a daughter of the late Tsar Nicholas I) the couple remain childless and his heir is his cousin, Prince Wilhelm.
Wurttemberg, like Saxony, had looked to Russia before the 1860s to provide a balance within Germany against the twin powers of Prussia and Austria. Like Saxony, again, Wurttemberg had had to reorientate its policy after the result of that war and the creation of an independent Poland. Wurttemberg retained hopes of eventual territorial aggrandizement (Baden and Hohenzollern were often mentioned) but had chosen to remain diplomatically neutral, ready to ally with any victorious coalition should a general war come to Germany.
In the meantime, King Karl I continued his predecessor's policy of maintaining the status quo within the kingdom. As an avid breeder of horses, Karl I nevertheless struck up close relations both with King Maximilian of Poland and Sultan Ismail of Egypt. On a personal level he became close to both of these fellow monarchs, but on a diplomatic level he kept Wurttemberg above any hint of an entangling alliance.
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Grand Duke Ferdinand IV succeeded to the grand ducal throne of Tuscany upon the death of his father, Grand Duke Leopoldo II in 1870. Having reigned since 1824, Leopoldo II's reign had seen the 1848 constitutionalist risings across Italy which had resulted in the formation of the League of I taly under the Pope, Pius IX.
Largely untouched by events in the meantime, and a haven of tranquility during the General European War in the mid 1860s, Tuscany had risen once more to prominence with the Piedmontese invasion of 1879. The deaths of Pope Pius IX and the Austrian Emperor Franz II Karl in 1878 had seemed to offer the new King of Piedmont-Sardinia, Umberto I, an opportunity to realise Savoyard and nationalist ambitions. Whilst his ambassadors pressed the case for Piedmontese leadership of the League of Italy in Rome, King Umberto I began his 'March on Rome' with an invasion of the central Italian states. Completely unprepared, the Tuscan army collapsed, and Grand Duke Ferdinand IV fled to refuge in Austria.
Austrian entry into the war commenced with a cutting asunder of the Piedmontese armies, a thrust into Tuscany that cut them in half, and allowed Ferdinand to re-enter his capital in 1881, before the conclusion of the war. Eventual Austrian, and Two Sicilies victory, brought a return of the status quo ante bellum. But the League of Italy was now dead.
Ferdinand has managed to restore a measure of stability to his state. Although it had seen its fair share of nationalist risings during the war, Tuscany in 1882 is a more peacable place than either Lombardy-Venetia or the Papal States, let alone Sicily where full-scale war now wages.
The Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine
Grand Duke Ludwig IV is married to Princess Charlotte of Great Britain, a daughter of King George V. He inherited the grand ducal crown from his uncle, Grand Duke Ludwig III in 1877 after the death of his father, Prince Karl earlier in the same year.
Hesse and by Rhine charts a neutral course within the German Confederation, though like many other states views the Prussian acquisition of Schleswig-Holstein with some alarm, and the collapse of the German Confederation's political function with concern, as now the voice of the Grand Duchy has no formal forum to be heard in.
The Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia
Although ruled separately by non-hereditary native princes, the two Rumanian principalities can be treated together because they share the same international situation.
Governed since 1834 under the Organic Statutes, Moldavia and Wallachia each had a prince elected by the boyars from amongst their own number, and with the power of veto over the assemblies of boyars in each of the principalities' capitals. Russia remained the protecting power, with the right of intervention.
By the 1840s the principalities had become home to the exiled Polish communities from the 1830-31 revolution. This was to be a key to events in the early-mid 1860s when a new Polish Uprising, resultant from the emancipation of the serfs within the Austrian Empire, blew up. Tensions spread to the principalities, many in Moldavia and Wallachia seeing it as an opportunity to throw off Russian dominance.
Russia invaded but the actions of Austria, moving armies to the border and threatening war caused Russia to pull back. With the outbreak of the General European War, and the eventual Russian defeat, this action was to form the basis for a new settlement for the principalities.
Three small districts of Southern Bessarabia which had been ceded to Russia in 1812 were retroceded to Moldavia. The Russian protectorate over both principalities was abolished. There were changes to the constitutions, but the boyars remained very much in control.
Since the 1860s, the principalities have remained very conservative and under-developed countries. There have been some moves towards reform, including a harder line against the Dedicated Monastries, whose mission ought to include the charitable provision of institutiona such as hospitals but largely had failed to do so. The condition of the peasant has been addressed in some half-hearted measures as a result of the Russian emancipation of the serfs in the 1870s. The peasant in Moldavia or Wallachia is not a serf but is tied by many obligations to the landlord and the status of his land is uncertain. By and large, however, the countryside remains in 1882 a land of great estates, most of which are not intensely farmed, and many of which in Wallachia are governed by appointees of their absentee landlords.
The Principality of Serbia
Prince Milos I Obrenovic secured the Ottoman recognition of Serbia's borders in 1838, but internally the young state was not to have a very stable history for the next few decades. Milos himself abdicated in 1838, but his son, Milan I reigned for only 26 days before his death from Tuberculosis. He was followed by Milos' second son, Michael who returned to take up his crown in 1840, and lasted until 1842 when he was deposed. The Serbs chose Alexander Karageorgevic, son of the great Kara George, as their new prince.
Alexander's reign was beset with difficulty, not least because the Ottoman Empire had only granted hereditary status to the Obrenovic dynasty, thus weakening his own position still further. Nevertheless Prince Alexander managed to stay on the throne until his own deposition in 1858. As of 1882 he is still alive, aged seventy-six and living in exile.
After the deposition of Prince Alexander, the Serbs welcomed Prince Milos back as their reigning prince. Milos died at the age of eighty in 1859 and was once again succeeded by his son Michael as reigning prince. Aged fifty-eight in 1882, Prince Michael is unmarried and his heir is his nephew, Prince Milan.
The history of Serbia in international affairs has been one of forced inaction. In both the Eastern Mediterranean War of the mid 1850s, and the General European War of the mid 1860s, Austria parked an army on the borders of Serbia and maintained naval patrols along the Adriatic to ensure Serbian neutrality.
Prince Michael is a thoughtful man and has written a lot on his vision of the destiny of the South Slav peoples, but the strength of Austria and the resurgence of the Ottoman Empire do not seem likely to allow the exploration of his dreams within his own lifetime.
The Principality of Montenegro
Montenegro has had a prince, as opposed to a prince bishop since 1852 when Danilo I secularised the office. The small mountain principality retains a strange status in international affairs. To some degree it is nominally subordinate to the Ottoman Empire, but the Ottomans have no say whatsoever within Montenegro's borders where the prince and the tribal leaders hold sway. Russian influence is strong, and Montenegro receives a historic subsidy from Russia which is an important aspect of its annual finances.
The town of Grahovo was seized by Montenegro, annexed from Hercegovina in 1858 during a period of Ottoman weakness. Despite this triumph, Prince Danilo I was assassinated in 1860 and succeeded by his son, Prince Nicholas I who was born in 1841.
Two decades of Prince Nicholas' rule has seen a steady increase in the power of the state over the tribal leaders, who nevertheless are the major power brokers in Montenegro. The formalisation of government institutions has brought tribal leaders into the structure of government, rather than made them external to it, and gradually Prince Nicholas is transforming his principality into a more recognisably modern state.
The Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire has been on an upward trend since the General European War of the mid 1860s. For the three decades previously the Ottoman Empire had come under Russian dominance since the Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi. This dominance was born of the wars which saw the independence of Egypt and the need of the Ottoman Empire for allies. Over time this culture of dominance began to seem the natural order of things.
The mid 1850s Eastern Mediterranean War seemed to offer proof of this state of affairs. Despite Egyptian weaknesses, the Ottoman Empire relied on Russian aid to take the province of Syria and was repulsed by French forces in an effort to take the Lebanon. At the same time an Ottoman army in the Balkans was annihilated, leading to Greek acquisition of the provinces of Epirus and Thessaly.
The death of Sultan Abdul Mejid in 1861 brought his brother Abdul Aziz to the throne as Sultan. Abdul Aziz's reign was to get off to a good start with the General European War. Ottoman armies increasingly bore the brunt of the fighting in the Levant as Russian forces were required elsewhere. And to cap it off, an Ottoman army in the Balkans inflicted a comprehensive defeat upon a Greek army and reconquered all of Thessaly.
The settlement of the war didn't change much in the Levant, but Ottoman armies had for a while entered Palestine, and the morale boost of this achievement, together with the victory in the Balkans brought about a whole new perspective in Istanbul. The settlement had seen the Russian protectorate over the Rumanian principalities come to an end, and now the Ottoman Empire exerted its own independence from Russian dominance.
By 1882 there remains a Russo-Ottoman alliance, and Sultan Abdul Aziz remains on the throne, a popular and highly regarded ruler
Ending of Part 11
The Sighing of the Wind
It is the way of the world, that when some tensions are sorted, some crises averted, there crop up new ones, new flashpoints to drag the attention of the newspapers and their readers to yet another part of the world, enlighten them with maps and background, then move one once there is a solution there and a new crisis springing afresh elsewhere. Of course, it is usually the case that these new crises have been rumbling along at a lower level for some time, that perhaps, even, previous eruptions have occurred but gone unnoticed such was public attention on other matters. But sometimes the eruption is so large, the build-up seemingly so insignificant, that the events of that morning's newspaper seem as if they have been entirely fabricated out of new material.
Such was the case in January 1883 in Paris. To be sure, the Radicals had risen up in 1876 already, forced a new constitution upon the king and taken the reins of parliamentary power. They had had noted successes in the repudiation of the Protocol of Saint Petersburg and the abolition of slavery across the French Empire, but they had had noted failures too, largest of all their inability to drag France into the Italian War on the side of Piedmont-Sardinia and the nationalists against the will of the king. Since the conclusion of that conflict, and the defeat for King Umberto I and his cause, relations between the King and his parliament had been dire, and intercourse had degenerated into running street battles between the rival supporters of King Louis Philippe II on the one hand, and the Radicals on the other.
But even this had begun to seem normal. The occasional political assassination, the occasional full-pitched battle between rival gangs, it had become commonplace by the start of 1883. Readers of the newspapers no longer remarked in horror upon the events in Paris, but instead spoke in wry amusement of the latest twists and turns. Partisans of the king assured their friends that Louis Philippe II would soon have his parliament under control once more. Partisans of the Radicals assured theirs that the parliament would soon have the King under their control. A solution to the power struggle, one way or the other, was expected in a traditional manner - one side would be forced to back down.
Thus, the assassination of King Louis Philippe II, his wife Queen Marie, and the Duke of Orleans, Prince Louis Philippe, heir to the French throne, caught the world in a moment of shock. The bloody nature of the killings, blown apart by a bomb thrown at their carriage, and the fact that they had been on the way to a New Year's mass at the cathedral of Notre Dame, outraged society. Nobody would claim responsibility in the weeks to come, but the suspicion fell by its very nature upon the Radical party, the king's enemies whose vitriole seemed almost to suggest that they would welcome his removal by force.
The new King was the Duke of Orleans' younger brother, Prince Charles, Duke of Montpensier, a mere child at seven years of age. The Regent for the new monarch, crowned King Charles XI, was Prince Robert of Orleans, Duke of Chartres and brother of the late King Louis Philippe II.
It was clear to all that the situation that had been in existence prior to the assassination could not be allowed to continue. The weekly battles and brawls between the two factions had become an embarassment to France and a danger to the stability of the kingdom. The Regent's first act was to prorogue the assembly and declare martial law throughout Paris and the other metropolitan districts. Curfew breakers, gang members of whatever affiliation, were summarily executed, and by the time that martial law was lifted in July of 1883 the situation in the streets had settled down once more.
Many amongst the more extreme Radical members of the assembly cried foul at this development. But public sympathy was on the side of the young king, and backed the actions of the Regency in acting to restore order and the rule of law. Marches and shows of support were organised by the government, and faced with a popular upswing in feeling towards the monarchy the majority of the Radicals backed down. Those who did not were arrested, and either imprisoned or exiled. Many of those who chose exile crossed the Atlantic to the independent federal republic of Lower Canada, where there was a substantial Francophone population.
1883 would see the foundation stone laid on the greatest engineering undertaking since the completion of the Suez Canal in the 1860s. The Trans-Oceanic canal from the Pacific coast of the United Provinces of Central America, to the Caribbean coast of the Kingdom of Miskitia was to be a vast undertaking, and one which at its inception was estimated to take between eight and ten years to complete. President Sherman of the United States was present in person at the ceremony, marking both the importance to the USA of the project and also to many indicating how comnpletely subjugated to the USA the UPCA had become. Although the UPCA's president presided at the ceremony, and although Sherman, like the other dignatories, was officially his guest, there was little doubting what the true relationship between the two men was.
Under Sherman's vigorous leadership the United States continued to push its agenda for the Americas. The War of the Pacific was brought to a mediated end by US pressure upon Chile. Bolivia lost its oceanic province and the town of Antofagusta, and the Chilean-owned mines in Southern Peru were returned to their owners, but the only Peruvian land to be ceded to Chile was, in an ironic twist of Fate not missed in Madrid, the Chincha Islands. The settlement did not please any side completely, such is the nature of compromises, and many neutral observers commented that it seemed to be storing up trouble for the future.
Of more immediate concern was the situation along the Araucanian border, where Chilean entrepreneurs and army veterans had begun to encroach upon Mapuche territory. King Achilles I of Araucania and Patagonia once again called for aid upon his protecting power, Great Britain, and in London Prime Minister Spencer Walpole's cabinet was moved to grant the required aid.
Just months after Anglo-US relations had seemed at last to have settled down from their high point of tension, Great Britain found itself at odds once again with the Sherman administration. A full-blown war scare in the middle of 1883 led to a rash of new naval construction and a strident tone in the British press at American arrogance and uppitiness. That the US press was full of similar sentiments about Great Britain did not seem to lead anyone to the obvious conclusion as to how the two powers viewed each other.
Tension turned to crisis with the assassination in La Paz of Francesco Solano Lopez, dictator and virtual emperor of Paraguay. With no designated successor, the Paraguayan government found itself in disarray. There were many who suspected Argentine involvement in the murder of their leader, and this seemed to be confirmed when an uprising of land-owners in one of the frontier ex-Argentine provinces was discovered to have been orchestrated by Buenos Aires. War fever gripped the nation, and despite the chaotic situation at the top, Paraguay's new rulers found themselves all but dragged into war with Argentina. A formal declaration was issued in October, but by then clashes had already occurred between army units of both nations intervening in the rebellious province.
In London, Prime Minister Spencer Walpole was in a quandary. Paraguay was a British ally, and Great Britain had a history of supporting that country, especially against Argentine aggression. In addition, Paraguay was an important trade partner, and the war threatened additionally the peace within the Republic of Uruguay, still jointly an Anglo-French protectorate. But the situation was different from that of twenty years previously. Direct British intervention would not be viewed well in Washington, and could indeed lead current tensions over Araucania into outright war.
But Great Britain could not afford to do nothing. With huge investments and massive trading interests at stake, the mercantile class was clamouring for action. In addition, inaction would appear to signal to Chile that Britain dared not intervene in favour of the Mapuche either. In a frantic round of negotiations, Walpole secured the consent of the French Regent, the Duke of Chartres, to the dispatch of a joint Anglo-French expedition to the River Plate. At the same time, a second squadron of Royal Navy ironclads would put into Patagonian ports to show solidarity with King Achilles I, and to reassure British merchants, and the largely Welsh immigrant population that had grown up in the previous two decades.
By the start of 1884 it was clear that the war was not going well for Paraguay. Lacking a unified leadership, and still reeling in shock at the pace of events, Paraguay's armies retreated from the frontier provinces into their heartland, stabilising the front before a renewed Argentine offensive in the Spring. To the Anglo-French squadron in the River Plate it was clear that Argentina was receiving a great amount of US aid - US merchant ships put into Buenos Aires in large numbers almost daily, and the presence of American cruisers off the coast implied that they were under formal US Navy protection. Reports from the field confirmed that American-made weapons, artillery and logistical materiele were appearing in great number. There were also disturbing reports of US advisors at the front, and even of a US volunteer unit fighting alongside the Argentines.
Steering a middle course throughout 1884, Britain focused upon its protectorates, sending a diplomatic mission to Araucania to aid King Achilles I in his negotiations with an intransigent Chilean government, and landing Marines in Montevideo to assure the local communities that the Republic of Uruguay was safe under its protectors' eyes. The French confined their operations to a naval presence, but rhetoric from the Regency in Paris assured the government of Uruguay that France remained as firmly committed to her security as did Great Britain.
The war dragged on, with Paraguay rebuffing several offers of an armistice, and refusing to accept US offers of mediation. President Sherman's government began to retaliate against Paraguayan refusals to come to the peace table, imposing strict limits and tarrifs on that amount of Paraguayan trade that was still able to come down the Parana under British protection. It was election year in the United States and all indications were that Sherman's Reform Party was going to sweep the board once again. Four years of vigorous action in defence of the Monroe Doctrine had revitalised American self-esteem and the clash with the European maritime powers was seen as a conflict of the New World and the Old, a trial of strength as to whom was to have the upper hand in the new century that lay ahead.
1885 saw the inauguaration of President William T. Sherman for his second term, but in Britain the existing Moderate-majority government fell after a newspaper campaign in favour of threatened mercantile interests. King George V dissolved parliament, and in a return almost as stunning as that had brough Spencer Walpole's party to governance the previous time around, the Reform Party under the venerable William E. Gladstone was elected to office. The defection of the mercantile interests from the Moderates was the major factor in this election success, and the victory was both a mandate for, and a millstone requiring, a stronger policy overseas. In defeat, Spencer Walpole retired from the front row of political life, later securing election to the Senate but dedicating the rest of his days to the study of history, eventually becoming as famous for his humungous tomes as he was for his period of political leadership.
Leadership of the Moderate Party devolved upon thirty-seven year-old Lord Randolph Churchill, a scion of the Duke of Marlborough's family, and as such the first descendant of a formerly-attainted noble to rise to party leadership. With the Reform Party having secured a simple, but not overall majority, Lord Randolph Churchill elected to place the Moderates in coalition government with them, and secured for himself the position of Foreign Secretary in Gladstone's ministry, the youngest man in a long period to have held the post.
The Reform-Moderate government was immediately faced by a crisis, then by a tragedy that would rock the old monarchies of Europe to their souls. The crisis seemed on the surface to be the smaller thing, an argument with Venezuela that had been brewing since the late 1870s when Venezuelan settlers had begun crossing the Orinoco River into territory claimed by British Guyana. 1885, a Venezuelan official visited one of these settlements in a formal capacity and delivered to it a deed of incorporation as a municipality. It was a symbolic act, but its significance was that no longer were the settlements East of the Orinoco mere squatters camps, this one, an impoverished hole by any account, now had a charter and recognition as a part of the Venezuelan body politic. Prime Minister Gladstone despatched two cruisers to the mouth of the Orinoco, and instructed his government's minister in Caracas to protest the act in the strongest possible terms. The expectation was that this would be enough to secure the retraction of the charter.
But all attention was soon to be dragged towards Vienna. On a deer-hunting expedition with his father, Crown Prince Rudolph broke with all protocol and moved into the field to have a shot at the rearmost deer from a reverse angle. His shot missed the deer, but struck his father, the Emperor Franz III Josef, in the head. Two days later the emperor was dead, and Rudolph, although numb with shock, was now Emperor of Austria.
Even as the crowned heads of Europe converged upon Vienna for the funeral, further events of significance were underway in South America. In Paraguay a junta of three generals seized power, installed the eldest son of the late Francisco Solana Lopez as a puppet president, and tried to build on the Lopez name to rally the country. But Francisco 'Panchito' Lopez turned out to be a man with a hidden talent, or a hidden agenda as some would declare. Within two months he had made his presidency a reality, relegated two of the generals to advisory roles and had the third shot for insubordination. Appealing to the memory of his father and his grandfather, he gathered a New Army and prepared to take the field against the Argentine army, reversing what had become a policy based purely upon defence, and which was seeing increasing numbers of US-made artillery delivered to the Argentinians in an effort to smash through the defensive lines. Realising that Paraguay in its desperate straits could never match this, Panchito decided to go on the offensive.
A double blow was soon to be landed on the government of Gladstone and Churchill in London. First came the astounding news that President Sherman had intervened personally over the Orinoco River dispute and declared that British actions were unacceptable under the Monroe Doctrine. Two US ironclads were dispatched to the scene and what had seemed to be a minor conflict with a South American nation had become a major crisis with the USA. The second blow was on the same fashion as the first. As Panchito Lopez's armies took to the offensive, the USA increased its aid to the Argentine Republic, dispatching more war materiele on excessively favourable terms, and to cap it off sending two cruisers to the mouth of the Parana River to interdict Paraguayan trade. The official position was that Paraguay was at blame for not having responded to US offers to mediate a peace. Seeing its only source of external revenue cut off, Paraguay at first complained voiciferously, and when that appeared to be having no effect appealed to Britain under the terms of the 1840s alliance, finally upping the ante by declaring war upon the USA in the high Summer of 1885.
Events were beginning to move fast in other theatres as well, threatening that Great Britain would find itself simply an observer of one crisis after another. Emperor Rudolph's first months in government were marked by complete inaction. It was said that the twnety-seven year old emperor spent his days in isolation, and that the business of government was being carried on entirely by his ministers. The situation in Lombardy-Venetia which had appeared to have at last settled down, flared up again. Lombard League and Venetian Association protests broke out, masking any ambitions for greater Italian national goals in claimed desires for self-rule, and in the more extreme speeches independence under an Austrian Archduke.
In the Balkans, Prince Michael of Serbia sensed the possibility of realising his dreams. He pushed at the boundaries, seeing if the past automatic response of the Austrians would occur - whether an army would be deployed on the border and a harshly worded instruction delivered to Belgrade. No army appeared, no instruction was delivered. Vienna was paralysed by the emperor's inaction. King Michael hastily approached Montenegro for a mutual understanding, and despatched an emissary to Tsar Aleksandr II's court in Saint Petersburg.
Neither Russia, nor Prussia, were sleeping. The sudden weakness of Austria, the inability of the centre to do anything more than continue with alread-decided policy was seen as a window of opportunity. In September 1885 the two nations signed a treaty of alliance. A fortnight later, Russia signed similar understandings with Serbia and Montenegro.
Back in London, the British government was being faced with almost constant crises. A sounding out of Paris, had resulted in the expected reply from the Regency - the Duke of Chartres pledged French support for the joint action in Uruguay and would assist King Achilles I in Araucania and Patagonia with anything short of military action. But what was unsaid was anything about Paraguay, or what would happen if Chile rejected all current negotiations with King Achilles' government - which it did in late September.
It was now a question of national pride. Panchito Lopez's offensive had recaptured about half of the ground lost to Argentine aggression, but the increasing presence of US personnel was halting a further advance, and the fitting out of an expeditionary force in New York was a warning of what was to come. Attempting to stem the tide by intervening in what seemed to be the least serious of the problems, Gladstone ordered the British Caribbean squadron to put into the Orinoco en masse, and at the same time a regiment of British West Indian troops to advance from British Guyana into the disputed territory.
October 1885 brought the shock news that, his bluff having been called, President Sherman was refusing to accept the British actions. Speaking on the dispatch of the expeditionary force to the River Plate, Sherman stated that if Britain did not of itself withdraw its forces from the Orinoco, he would request of Congress the force necessary to make them.
In a quandary, Gladstone and Churchill met with the Radical Party leadership in London, and even conferred with the king and the Prince of Wales. Was there any way out except war ? Despite every facet of their being being against war, the Radical Party leadership could come up with nothing except abject surrender as an option. King George V, and Prince George, heir to the throne, gave their private opinion that if war it must be, then war it would be. Before a packed House of Commons, Prime Minister William E. Gladstone announced to the country the rejection of the US ultimatum and emphasised that the operation to remove the illegal Venezuelan settlements would continue. Knowing that this was in essence an acceptance of the inevitability of war, Gladstone's government immediately dispatched elements of the Standing Army to Rupertsland, and issued secret mobilisation orders to all stations. The Mediterranean Fleet was to sail immediately for the River Plate, and the Home Fleet stand ready to cross the Atlantic at need.
A week later, President Sherman received from the US Congress the necessary backing to declare war upon Great Britain. He wasted no time in doing so.
The outbreak of war between Britain and the United States does not catch anybody by surprise. It is followed shortly by a small rash of declarations of neutrality - from the Regency in France, from King George III in Miskitia, from the Republic of Upper Canada and the Federal Republic of Lower Canada and from the Kingdom of Ireland.
In London, Prime Minister William E. Gladstone sets up a special body to look into sourcing alternative sources of grain. The war in Southern America was already causing serious difficulties to beef imports, now the loss of US, and probably of Rupertsland, grain imports was going to be felt very strongly indeed. Every possible source was to be investigated, and subsidies offered to other nations to develop nascent agricultural sectors to meet British needs if at all possible. As a sign of the importance with which Britain viewed this matter, Foreign Secretary Lord Randolph Churchill set sail for Saint Petersburg aboard a RN cruiser to discuss the possibility of purchasing Russian grain en masse from the Ukraine.
The dispositions of the Royal Navy were clearly going to be vital to any chance of victory in this contest. Thomas George Baring, First Earl of Northbrook held the portfolio of First Lord of the Admiralty under Gladstone. Of the famous Baring brothers banking family, he felt very strongly the family's desperate straits over the situation in Southern America, and has sometimes been accused by historians of being too beholden to their concerns, rather than taking a more objective view of the crisis. Nevertheless, it was Northbrook who issued the early mobilisation orders, and who ordered the Mediterranean Fleet to the River Plate before the formal announcement of war. And it was Northbrook who saw through parliament the Emergency Naval Provisions Act which would double the naval budget for the duration of the war, and provide for the immediate laying down of a large number of new warships of all types. Northbrook was also responsible for the purchase from France of two relatively new ironclads which the Regency agreed to sell at a favourable price.
European diplomacy was proving to be a headache at this time, even as Britain wished itself to be free of such commitments and able to focus on the war with the USA. Having to establish some sort of good relations with Russia, but at the same time maintain the good relationship with France, British statesmen walked a tightrope in late 1885-early 1886. Lord Randolph Churchill, after visiting Tsar Aleksandr II in Saint Petersburg and signing a commercial treaty for vast amounts of Ukrainian grain, moved on to visit Berlin, Vienna and finally Paris where he spent a week in the company of the Duke of Chartres. Exact details of the discussions are never easy for the historian to come by, but it is obvious from everything that happened afterwards that Churchill was attempting to calm the European crisis down. In November 1886 France announced a formal defensive alliance with both Poland and Sweden, quite obviously aimed against the prospect of any Russo-Prussian aggression with regard to either kingdom. A formal restatement of the alliance with Belgium was to follow the succeeding month. Whilst all of this served to ratchet up the tension it did not produce the spark to turn the crisis into war, but nevertheless come Christmas 1885 Lord Randolph Churchill was once again to be found in Paris.
With the British fleet in the River Plate based largely at Montevideo, and the Americans at Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata and Bahia Blanca, no immediate great clash of the fleets occurred. Both sides built up their forces, with the British receiving the entire Mediterranean Fleet, including the second squadron of rather old tired ironclads, and the USA receiving the ships it had been basing at Valparaiso on the Pacific Coast. US operations against the remnant of Paraguayan traffic on the Parana and Uruguay rivers were the source of the first clashes, initially cruiser against cruiser battles, but in late November a clash of ironclads occurred off the Uruguay River estuary. The action itself is inconclusive, but the badly damaged US ironclads limp back to Bueno Aries, whilst one of the most modern of the British ironclads founders before it can make Montevideo and another is sunk by US cruisers as it straggles home alone.
The result from the British point of view is the removal from command of the senior admiral, and his replacement by the junior admiral on station, who just happens to be the newly-elevated son of King George V, Prince Ernest, Duke of York. A change of strategy occurs. It has become obvious that attempting to keep the rivers open for Paraguayan trade is not feasible until command of the sea is assured. The only way to do that is to challenge the Americans on better terms than a fight far away from the only base available to them. The Duke of York begins to draft his plans accordingly.
The naval action in the Orinoco, at the centre of the Venezuela crisis, has been more dramatic and more decisive. With neither side willing to concede the area in question to the possession of the other, the British and American forces meet in battle in early October 1885.....
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How do I decide who wins here ? The forces are equal, the leadership is equal, the advantages and disadvantages are equal...???
The victory at the Orinoco was a vital one for British interests, and was the first full-scale battle between rival fleets of ironclads. Its results would be studied in detail, and the relative merits of the two sides picked apart time and again. But what could not be denied was that the British simply had better tactics on the day. The US commander, though a competent administrator proved unequal to his challenger and allowed his force to be caught between a twin line of British vessels. The cruisers of both sides fought generally as adjuncts to the main battle-lines, and to many observers the battle had all the hallmarks of Nelson at the Nile. British losses were not insignificant; as the two lines proceeded up either side of the US line, the lead British ships became gradually more damaged, and eventually hauled out of line, giving up their position to the next in line. By the end of the battle, two US cruisers had limped off to take news of the defeat to Caracas, the rest lay sunk in the river estuary, or beached to save their crews. Several British ironclads, some of the strongest in the Royal Navy, sat like floating wrecks, in little danger of sinking but with their guns and upper works ruined.
But victory at sea is more than just the aftermath of battle, it is always a what might have been. Had not the British won at the Orinoco, had in fact the US Navy won, then the British convoys taking much-needed troops to Montevideo would have come under threat, might perhaps have suffered loss at US hands, or been diverted or delayed. But, as it was, they were able to make their way across the Atlantic and to be received by the Duke of York's squadron off Montevideo.
There now occurred one of those strange sideshows that for weeks alone would rise up, dominate discussion, then disappear completely. Although a protectorate of Britain and France, Uruguay in its internal affairs was a self-ruling republic with a president elected by the people. The foreign mercantile communities had a strong say in local politics, but the native Uruguayan was a not man to remain completely mute. Now, seeing his country used as a base for British naval forces, and upon the arrival of the convoys from Britain, as a staging ground for British army units, an uprising occurred in the towns and country outside of Montevideo. The president attempted to negotiate with the rebels, but the Duke of York in discussion with the British commanding general decided that the threat of rebels across the line of march to the Paraguayan border could not be countenanced. Without either man waiting for replies from London, they launched a joint army-Marines operation, sweeping out from Montevideo and taking the main rebel-held towns in swift and bloody succession. With the resignation in protest of the Uruguayan president and his government, the British, with muted French acquiesence installed a leader of the Italianate business community as interim president. The only serious complaint to this high-handed action came from the Empire of Brazil, but Britain decided that short-term Brazilian hostility was a price worth paying for securing the line of march across Uruguay.
With the opening naval engagements over, the Anglo-American War became very much a focus on two land fronts throughout 1886.
In the North, British reinforcements added to a standing defence in Rupertsland that had been strengthened significantly during the Klondike Crisis of 1875-6, Although some of the military institutions would prove to be wrongly-sited, aimed at the Russians in Alaska, rather than at the Americans, the size of the institutions and the modernity of the forces available would prove vital in beating back the initial American attack into the Western states.
In the South, as the US expeditionary force made its way to the front, to take over a section of the front from their Argentine allies, the British force crossed Uruguay, and into Paraguayan territory. By late Spring the two forces were in direct conflict in Corrientes and the Chaco.
The Federal Republic of Lower Canada adhered to the strictest neutrality, even beyond what was expected and required. In doing so it risked upsetting both belligerents, but it thought upsetting them by non-co-operation the less risky strategy than risking upsetting one more than the other by giving co-operation in time of war. Thus, the harbours in New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland remained closed to British and American warships. They also remained closed to agents of the two governments, the federal parliament in Montreal issuing a decree that neither coal, nor foodstuffs, nor supplies such as rope, timber, etc should be sold to either power. The markets suffered some severe shocks as a result of this, but the leadership in Montreal, meeting daily in emergency session, steered a course that would keep their nation out of the war, and thus allow it to emerge as an independent nation regardless of who won the conflict.
Events in Upper Canada in many ways mirrored those of its largely-Francophone neighbour, and with trade in complete crisis, the parliament in Toronto negotiated a far-reaching agreement with its counterpart in Montreal. To an extent this would ease the commercial crisis in Lower Canada, whilst politically it tied the fortunes of Upper Canada very much to those of its federal neighbour.
In the Autumn of 1866 as Russian grain convoys, escorted by cruisers and elderly ironclads of the Royal Navy. became frequent sights in the major commercial ports of Great Britain, the Governor of Rupertsland signed an agreement with his counterpart in Alaska, and signed away all of Britain's claims to the Yukon. In the midst of frontier battles the length and breadth of Western Rupertsland, the evacuation of the Yukon forts was seen as a bonus for the defence of the province, and the Russians who moved in to take their place were given hardly a thought by the British garrison as it withdrew from one of the most inhospitable postings in the British Empire.
1887 opened very much as 1886 had begun. The land warfare in South America continued, with Britain shipping troops across the Atlantic, and the USA sending reinforcements along the Pacific coast and either across the Andes from Chile or around Cape Horn.
Chile continued pressing King Achilles' government over Araucania, with more settlers and war veterans entering Mapuche territory in a war that it was not in the interests of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia to acknowledge existed.
In Europe, a period of Regency by Archduke Karl Ludwig, the uncle of Emperor Rudolph came to an end as Rudolph seemed to recover from his depression and made his first public appearances since the muted and tragic circumstances that had led to his coronation. By Spring he had even seemed to have refound a verve for life, being seen on less formal occasions. The news in Summer of 1887 that he was engaged to be married came as a shock, but a welcome one at that. His bride-to-be was just seventeen, Archduchess Luisa Antoinette of the Habsburg (Tuscany) line, the daughter of Grand Duke Ferdinand IV of Tuscany.
US advances in Rupertsland continued to be hardfought and costly, but advance slowly they did.
Naval action in the River Plate continued in a desultory fashion. The Duke of York's more focused and intensive policy came to nothing as the US refused battle on unequal terms, and issued out when unharassed. After the decisive action in the Orinoco estuary it seemed as if neither side was willing to risk such a decisive encounter a second time around for fear of being on the losing side.
1887, saw a Russian invasion of Persia. Whilst of no great surprise to Great Britain, and bringing hardly any response from London, the action caused a storm of political fury across Europe, and the European involved nations.
The Ottoman Empire, growing in strength and with concerns of their own in Persia, was the most concerned, but Sultan Abdul Aziz was in an awkward position, unwilling to cause great disruption to their Russian neighbour and rival. After frantic discussions, the Ottoman Empire invades Persia from the West as a somewhat-unwanted ally of the Russian Empire.
In South America, Britain has secured the province of Corrientes for Paraguay, and thus their lifeline with Uruguay, but fierce fighting with US and Argentine units continues throughout Chaco province and in the Northern borderlands.
February 1887 also sees the appointment of a new and more dynamic Secretary of the Navy. Public opinion in the USA had been clamouring for some action, stating that surely it was the job of the navy to prevent the convoys of British troops to Uruguay, or in the ice-free period to Rupertsland. The first action of the new regime is the seizure of the Bahamas. This had been an oft-mooted plan in the past, and the British had initially posted a full regiment for the islands' defence, but as time passed and no US action occurred, the defenders had been reduced in number. Now, the US seizes the islands with very little loss, but provoking a strongly worded complaint from the Spanish government, for whom the Bahamas look like a stepping stone from East Florida to their island of Cuba.
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I'm finding this more difficult than I thought I would. For example, a clash between the British and US fleets over the Rupertsland convoys - where ??? As far as I can see, the British will sail from the Western Approaches across the Atlantic to the Labrador Sea in a straight line. The best point theoretically would seem to be somewhere North-East of Newfoundland, but how the hell are the Americans to actually locate the British in this large swathe of ocean ? The alternative is to lie off the point of departure (logistically impossible without a European ally) or to lie in wait in the Labrador Sea
(which raises equally perplexing questions of supply and how long they can remain on station).
Anyone have any ideas???
The Treaty of peace was signed in December 1887. Brokered by France, it was signed in Montreal, with the Federal Republic of Lower Canada playing host to what was probably its first diplomatic meeting of international importance, ever.
With the Duke of York's counter-attacks in the River Plate having won a series of victories mid-year against the initially resurgent US Navy, the Americans had been forced to base their ships upon Bahia Blanca, too difficult had it become to continue the station at Buenos Aires. The British bombardment, using massive 100 ton Armstrong guns in the new bombardment craft, supplemented by a development of the incdendiary rocket, had reduced much of the city to rubble by the time that the British offensive of the Autumn carried the frontier province and invested the city itself. With Argentine forces falling back to defend their capital, the US expeditionary force had been able to hold the line against the Paraguayans, but the fall of Buenos Aires in early November, followed a week later by a smashing defeat of the Argentine army in the field, had cut the ground from under the Americans' feet. A new interim president, from his base at Mar del Plata (midway down the coast between Buenos Aires and Bahia Blanca) had requested an armistice.
The defeat of the US Navy's second attempt to interdict the British Rupertsland convoys had already weakened the USA's resolve to carry on the war. The first attempt had been a fiasco, with the US fleet sailing vainly, and vaguely in the Atlantic off Newfoundland, and failing to locate the enemy. The second attempt was more daring, and more difficult, the US basing their fleet in the entrance to the Labrador Sea. A great naval battle had thus been fought in the Arctic seas of early Summer, the losses in terms of warships on both sides being severe. But British cruisers had shepherded the convoy away from the battle, and safely into the Hudson Bay. Whilst tactically the battle was a draw, strategically it had been a victory for the British.
American privateers, basing themselves on Grand Bahama and operating against British trade in the mid Atlantic increasingly became a concern and a source of fury during 1887. British warships escorted not only the Rupertsland convoys, but also the River Plate convoys, and from Gibraltar onwards the Russian grain convoys to the British Isles. Left undefended were the huge number of British-flagged merchant ships plying their traditional routes, largely unaffected by war. Within the Caribbean Sea itself much of the trade was now carried in Texan, and even Mexican flagged, vessels. Some of these were ex-British or ex-US flagged ships who had changed their registration to Galveston, or to Vera Cruz, a lot of it was new construction as the native mercantile industries boomed. But in the Atlantic, individual British merchant ships sailed as they had sailed before the war, rich-pickings for US privateers, and for US Navy commerce raiding cruisers.
But it was the action of the privateers that upset international feelings the most. Operating under the US equivalent of Letters of Marque, these vessels attacked and either took, or sank, British merchant ships as they came across them. But they were less strict in their application of any understanding of contraband of war. Several ships carrying much-anticipated industrial wares to Spanish-owned Cuba were intercepted and sunk. So angry did the small industrialist community at Havana and Santiago become that Spain began to institute patrols of their own deep into the Atlantic to receive and shepherd in such vessels. After a privateer was intercepted atempting to sink a merchant ship, just as it entered the zone of protection, the danger of war between Spain and the Unites States became real.
Within Rupertsland, British resistance in the Rocky Mountains continued fiercely, with Calgary several times coming under threat of US artillery bombardment but never falling to the Americans. The major US thrust towards the Hudson Bay was still bogged down around Lake Winnipeg, and although the expanse of the plains between the two fronts was open to both sides, the US Army did not have the manpower to occupy it, not without a huge effort that would have brought little gain. Instead they occupied individual strongpoints, excercised influence in the territory around it, and from time to time faced British counter-offensives that would sometimes retake the position, and sometimes be beaten off.
The Treaty of Montreal, signed for the British by the new Governor General of Rupertsland, Prince Frederick, Duke of Clarenace, and by the commander of all British forces in Rupertsland, General Charles Gordon, as well as by the Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Lower Canada, had the following stipulations :-
1. The British Guyana/Venezuela border was fixed at the Orinoco, and Venezuela would evacuate any settlements remaining over that line, Britain not being bound to pay any form of compensation.
2. Paraguay was confirmed in its territorial extent from before the war. In lieu of territorial concessions, the Argentine Republic would furnish an indemnity, of an amount to be determined by a neutral commission under the auspices of the Emperor of Austria.
3. The Rocky Mountain crest would form the future Western border of Rupertsland, signifying an advance in US territory in the North.
4. The cession of the Yukon to Russia, bounded on the East by the Mackenzie Mountains (or an ATL name for them !) is recognised by the USA
5. Lake Winnipegosis, Lake Manitoba and the Assinboine River is to be the new border of the USA in Eastern Rupertsland. (This gives the USA the city of Winnipeg, makes Rupertsland have a Southern-fork East of Lake Winnipeg, and recognises US penetration in the East)
6. Material compensation will be made to Spanish industrialists in Havana and Santiago-de-Cuba whose livelihoods have been affected by the rampages of US privateers.
End of Part 12
The World Writ Large
The funeral of King Wilhelm I in Berlin was like a glossary of who was who in European royalty. The ninety-one year old monarch had been elderly when he had taken the throne, in 1861, and his reign of twenty-seven years had been longer than anyone could have imagined. It had seen Prussia fight Denmark in the mid 1860s, acquire suzerainty over the newly-independent duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, and then annex them outright on the death of their first independent ruler at the start of the 1880s. Prussia's actions had in many ways caused the collapse of the German Confederation's political function. The Diet at Frankfurt was no more, and only the commercial and customs treaties remained in effect. The newly-acquired port of Kiel was in the midst of a massive development into a first class naval base, and the years of the 1880s had seen steady progress on the construction of the Kiel Canal, across the isthmus to the North Sea.
Among those attending the funeral were the three longest-reigning monarchs in Europe, King Louis I of Belgium who had ruled since that country had achieved its independence at the start of the 1830s, and King George V of Great Britain, and King Francis I of Ireland, both of whose thrones owed themselves to the settlement of the British Civil War in 1836.
Another to garner much attention was Emperor Rudolph of Austria, now apparently much recovered from his depression, and displaying by his side his young Empress, Luisa Antoinette, clearly heavily pregnant with their first child.
Tsar Aleksandr II of Russia cut an imposing figure, whilst a more exotic pose was struck by Prince Nicholas of Montenegro, whose retinue was paid for at the personal expense of the Tsar, rather ominously as some observers remarked.
The newest monarch, apart from Prussia's own King Frederick III, was King George II of Greece who had succeeded his father only the previous year. In his early thirties, and with a tiny retinue, all that his impoverished kingdom could afford, he cut a pathetic and lonely figure on the fringes of the event, and few noticed his early departure for his kinsman's estates in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
The youngest monarch, of course, was the adolescent King Charles XI of France, accompanying the Regent on a very rare journey outside of his kingdom.
With peace once again reigning in the world, it seemed as if the Old Order was signalling its re-establishment in full by the pomp and glamour of the occasion, respectful though it was to nonogenarian who had done much in his long reign to shape Prussia's modern course.
Sometimes it is useful to stop and look back on how a decade ends. To many at the New Year in 1890, this was certainly a time for this.
In some parts of the world, the past couple of years alone had brought about major changes.
The Russo-Ottoman conquest of Persia was declared over by the end of the Summer 1889 campaigning season. The Ottomans occupied the South-Western province, and the Westernmost third of the central Western province. The Russians occupy the rest, but in the East of the country, several local rulers remain in control, with self-rule but mostly autonomous under Russian suzerainty.
The Khan of Kalat, ruler of Baluchistan remains independent, playing off Russian influence against British from out of India.
The situation within the Federal Republic of Canada is a confusing one. The war has made many people rich, mainly from dubious activities, smuggling, third-party selling and profiteering. The government at Montreal had taken out a large loan from France, offered by the Duke of Chartres in cousinly fortitude. With the pressures of war lifted, the trade barriers with Rupertsland and the USA lifted, the Maritime Provinces began a seccessionist movement against the enforced federation with Lower Canada that Britain's Radicals had forced upon them. By 1889, a peaceful separation had been agreed. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island would remain with Quebec, as would Labrador. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland embarked on a federation of their own. Most observers expected it to last little more than a few years. Meanwhile, in the areas remaining in federation with Quebec, various tensions and rivalries remained.
Paraguay saw a major change in the aftermath of victory. Under British auspices, Juan Francisco - Panchito - Lopez had himself crowned King Francisco II in the Summer of 1888. During 1889, he began to make threatening moves towards the Empire of Brazil, over the province of Mato Grosso. June 1889, Paraguay awoke to the stunning news that Francisco II was dead, murdered in his bed as he slept. In what seemed to many like a coup d'etat, his younger brother, with British suport evident in the presence of British soldiers in La Paz, was crowned king in succession to Francisco. The border tensions with Brazil soon ebbed away from the national consciousness.
In Araucania and Patagonia, 1888 saw Chile finally agree to come to the negotiating table with King Achilles I. With British and French diplomats present in renewed strength, Chile agreed to limit her claims to a specific area of Northern Araucania, but held out for the cession of Tierra del Fuego, but agreed not to establish settlements there, except in co-operation with King Achilles' government.
Benefitting from the compensation in kind from the Treaty of Montreal, Spanish industrialists in Havana and Santiago-de-Cuba brought modern industrial practices to those cities, and further furnished with loans from British banks, began a more general modernisation of Cuban society. Somewhat to the surprise of many, the Confederate exile populations proved to be keen to buy into the revolution. Whilst retaining slaves on their own estates, they embraced modernism in the industrial process.
After the war, the Caribbean trade which had fallen into the hands of Texan and Mexican merchants and shipowners for the large-part remained under the control of Galveston, Vera Cruz and the like. The US merchant marine would revive, but find new markets. Those lost so close to home would remain lost. It was boomtime in Texas.
Trouble in the United Provinces of Central America was viewed as endemic. Putting down secessionist movements, waging campaigns against the rebels, kept many ex-US army troops in a living after the expeditionary force was withdrawn from South America. The trans-oceanic railway had evolved massively during the war and continued to be important to US trade. The Trans-Oceanic Canal, now running behind schedule, was a major focus of US attention in this difficult period.
November 1888 saw a presidential election in the United States. The Reform Party of William T Sherman had schismed, putting up several candidates, one of whom merged with several minor movements to form a new Populist Party and provide the strongest opposition to the US Radical Party, but the result was never quite within doubt, and the Radicals won the election, their candidate being sworn in as successor to Charles F Adams and Charles Sumner as the bearer of the Radical flame.
1890 saw a radical change in one of Europe's forgotten countries. Since the 1830s war with France and the Belgian National Congress, the Kingdom of the Netherlands had become a more militarised, and somewhat insular country. The long reign of King Willem III had seen a continuation of the militarisation, the keeping up-to-date in naval developments, despite the drain on resources, and support for a radical Calvinism which denied the Catholic population of North Brabant Catholic bishops. The constitution of the Netherlands remained a centralised monarchical one, and the king's writ was law in politics. Personally, King Willem III had been a boor of a man. Rumours that he beat his wife leaked out even into the press of countries such as France or Prussia where such discussion about fellow monarchs was looked down upon, not least by the official censor. Relations between the king and his eldest son, Crown Prince Willem were strained at the best of times, and took the form of a bubbling conflict at the others. King Willem had denied his son his choice of bride and as a consequence the younger Willem had remained unmarried. As a reaction to his father's radical Calvinism he adopted a liberal aire, and was often left out of state occasions as a punishment by his father. King Willem III's younger son, Prince Alexander, had been raised in position by his father, encouraged during the late 1880s to marry, and had chosen Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont as his bride. With one daughter, born in 1889, and another child on the way, the long-term succession of the dynasty appeared to lie in the hands of Prince Alexander.
The death of King Willem III in 1890 thus created a fission in the Netherlands body politic. The accession of a liberal-minded king in King Willem IV was seen as a challenge by the radical Calvinist establishment, and as the new king embarked on his reign in a spirit of reform, those whose interests were threatened increasingly looked towards Prince Alexander for leadership. The birth of a son, named Willem for his grandfather, in the mid-months of 1890, seemed to add to Prince Alexander's credentials and he was openly spoken of as a replacement for Willem IV, should his brother wish to abdicate.
The Catholic population of North Brabant had increasingly looked towards Belgium since the ban on local Catholic bishops had occurred in 1849. King Willem IV saw this as a dangerous weakness in his kingdom and began making overtures towards the Catholic leadership in a bid to assuage their grievances and bring them more into the Netherlands body politic.
The establishment, both the Calvinist religious establishment and the conservative political establishment, saw the king's actions as both dangerous and treasonous. In September 1890 they acted, enacting a coup d'etat and seizing the person of the king. Even as Prince Alexander demanded to know what was going on, his supporters declared his brother deposed and himself as king. Despite his own misgivings, Prince Alexander allowed himself to go along with this, and was sworn in as King Alexander I of the Netherlands in a partisan ceremony.
Northern Brabant rose in revolt, and in Brussels, the elderly King Louis I held urgent discussions with his cabinet on the crisis across the border.
Frederick III may not be the liberal he was renowned to be, either because in this ATL he has not developed quite that way, or because his qualities were often seen in OTL in contrast to his son. Nevertheless, even in the ATL he is married to a British princess (daughter of George V) and is generally liberal-ISH, at least for a Prussian. Thus, he can be expected to support personally Willem IV rather than the usurper Alexander I. However, does this advance Prussia's goals at all? Perhaps simply by intervention for whomever, Prussia's goals would be advanced?
Belgium looks likely to flex its muscles, which in this ATL are somewhat stronger than in OTL. Intervention in the name of Willem IV, and in aid of the N Brabant Catholics, would have France very much present in the background. King Charles XI is about to come of age, if we assume 16 to be the age where he can take over for himself (it often was elsewhere). The Duke of Chartres continues to wants to keep France out of wars, but if a war has been started next door he could well let his principles lapse this time.
The question therefore becomes how can King Alexander I work his own way through all this - apart from the conservatives and radical Calvinists at home, how can he gain international recognition, aid and even allies ?
One really can't see a Reform-Moderate government in London going so far as to risk war with France, or even with Belgium, in favour of a guy whose policies are pretty obnoxious. They might do some deal around the edges, perhaps for the Netherlands Antilles as a price, but its likely to come to nothing unless Alexander can stabilise his position.
What might prod some more action is if Prussia, in aiding Willem IV, invades or occupies other German states as a temporary measure, or simply due to passing through and not departing. Without the Diet at Frankfurt, the likes of the Saxon Duchies cannot really defend themselves, and are unlikely all to have meaningful alliances in place. Could this stir in some way an Austro-Prussian war ? If so, it would probably drag in France and probably not on Prussia's side despite the alliance of the mid 1860s. Belgium would eye Prussian Luxembourg as well.
Maybe it would be idea for the timeline if Frederick III croaks, after an extra two years of life? Then his heir, whose name I've forgotten but is a more stable and not deformed analogue to Wilhelm II, could see himself as presented with a mission. If he opts to support Alexander I despite his policies, then the scene could be set for a European war?
13b Part 1 - Australia
The British Civil War of the early 1830s interupted the regular life of Australia. Although the war did not spill over onto the continent, even in its aftermath (unlike in India), the transportation of convicts first decreased then stopped altogether. The Radical-Reformist government, in power after the Settlement of 1836, then outlawed the practice completely. It could be argued that it no longer fitted the needs of the home country anyway. Initially conceived as a way of dealing with a burgeoning prison population, the effect of the civil war had been to decrease the population of Great Britain, both through the deaths from battle, disease and starvation, and through the exile to Hannover of the die-hard Ultras and their supporters. With population pressure lower back home, the need to export the prison population was removed. In addition, the Radical-Reformist government overturned many of the petty laws that had been in existence prior to the war, eradicating prison, let alone transportation, as the punishment for many minor offences.
Australia thus remained a land with four establishd colonies - South Australia, which was formalised in 1836 and had never been a convict settlement, Van Diemens Land, the island to the South, the Swan River Colony in the West and New South Wales which took up the rest of the continent, forming the majority of the Central, Eastern and Northern province.
The gold rush of the 1850s brought more settlers to what was still an underdeveloped colony. Movement for change led to the formation of the colony of Georgia, splitting off from New South Wales in the South.
The independence of Upper and Lower Canada at the start of the 1870s, also made Australia a more attractive place for setlement within the British Empire. Its climate compared to Rupertsland was a major advantage, and the British government encouraged development of the continent with grants for enterprise and industry.
During the Anglo-American War of the mid 1880s there was a lot of local concern about the possible descent of US troops on what was still a largely undefended colony. Depredations by some US Navy merchant raiders in the Southern Pacific also led to fears for the economy. Responding to these fears, Australia received the loan of two regiments of the Indian Army, and saw the beginnings of a naval force. Going along with this, and formalised in the Declaration of 1889, Australia was made a federal colony, the five Governor Generals reduced to one, though each colony retained its own government and administration in home affairs. By 1890 the Indian Army units had been withdrawn and replaced by natively-raised Australian Army regiments, staffed largely by British veterans of the recent war, but with the men recruited from all over Australia.
The Duke of York, hero of the naval warfare in the River Plate was made the first all-Australian Goverrnor General, and arrived at Sydney in 1890 with his wife and family. The cruiser which conveyed them from Britain, a veteran of the recent war, became the flagship of the nascent Australian fleet.
New Zealand's development came to a halt during and after the British Civil War. Whaling stations had been established around the islands, and settlements made usually in co-operation with the native Maori chiefs. When in 1834 a customs dispute over an unflagged ship from New Zealand brought the matter to a head, a flag for New Zealand was agreed between the British naval and whaling representatives and 25 Northern chiefs.
With transportation ceasing after the Settlement of 1836 the development of Australia slowed, and New Zealand continued as an adjunct to Australia, ruled by a Lieutenant Governor answerable to the Governor of New South Wales.
This state of affairs continued throughout the nineteenth century, with the whaling settlements developing into towns, and with settlement occurring on a limited basis. The United Tribes of New Zealand, having proclaimed their independence in 1835 despite continuing factional war, come to an agreement on a king, Potatau I in the mid 1850s.
Britain altered the status of New Zealand to that of a protectorate, establishing Maori home rule outside of the British settlements, and confining the latter to the territories already occupied. Separated from Australian oversight, New Zealand began to develop in its own image. Maori culture and architecture borrowed from Britain, and other European nations, but established a style of its own. Maori warriors, having been introduced to the musket in the time of George IV, became more Western in their dress and armament, adopting a uniquely Maori uniform, but somewhat in imitation of some of the Indian uniforms seen during the Anglo-American War.
By 1890, the protectorate has several modern towns, and is developing local practices into more formal agriculture and industry. Under King Potatau II (brith name Tawhiao) New Zealand has avoided the conflicts of modern times, and apart from visitations from the Indian garrison of Australia was little affected by the recent war.
It is probably easier to deal with all the knowns before one attempts to fill in the gaps!
Russia, without the Maritime Province (where Vladivostok is) nevertheless stretches across the Northern edge of the Pacific, over the Aleutian Islands and Alaska, down not as far as in OTL but with more land inland, and also having acquired the Yukon to the Mackenzie Mountains in the 1880s, from Britain.
The United States coastline is all Oregon, the entire Oregon Territory from the border with Northern California to 54'40" where it meets the Russians in Alaska. This coast has several naval bases, the main ones being on the island of Vancouver and the mouth of the Columbia River.
The Republic of Mexico stretches from California in the North, down to the border with the United Provinces of Central America. The reform of the government in California in the 1860s strengthened the central administration, and saw the expansion of naval facilities at San Francisco.
The Shogunate of Japan across the Pacific has modernised under French support, and has established suzerainty, although not sovereignty over the Principality of Okinawa.
Spain, with its main possession in the Philipines, the Marianas, Carolines and Guam has the oldest and largest holding in the Pacific itself.
France's holdings in the region are confined to Kwangchow province in Southern China, leased from the Imperial Government in Peking, but also encompass close relations with Japan and with Vietnam.
The Netherlands has holdings across the East Indies. These border the independent sultanates in the North (eg Johore, Sulu. Brunei) and tribal holdings in other areas, nominally claimed by the Dutch but not occupied.
Australia is a British colony, but New Zealand is a Maori kingdom, ruled independently, but as a British protectorate.
Returning to the Americas, the United Provinces of Central America, increasingly a US puppet, occupies the area from Mexico to Colombia in its Panama province. The UPCA includes the Pacific terminal of the Trans-Oceanic Canal, which is now on course to be completed by the middle of the 1890s at the earliest.
The coast of South America includes the coastlines of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The coast of Chile was extended as a result of the War of the Pacific to include the Bolivian province, but hardliner calls in Santiago for the annexation of Southern Peru came to nothing. South of Chile is the Pacific coast of the Kingdom of Araucaria and Patagonia, stretching down towards the South, but no longer including the island of Tierra del Fuego which was ceded to Chile in the settlement of territorial disputes in the later 1880s.
This thus leaves the central and Southern Pacific By and large the islands off the coast of South America belong to Chile (eg Easter Island) or to Ecuador (eg the Galapagos Islands).
The Kingdom of Hawaii has maintained a steady independence, playing various powers off each other, and with diplomatic and mercantile populations from Russia, Japan, the USA, Mexico, Britain, France and Spain.
Samoa, like Hawaii, New Zealand and Madagascar, has seen the feuding chiefs eventually unite as a result of conquest on the one hand, and federation on the other. By 1890 a paramount chief has been elected king, and Samoa is moving towards conducting diplomacy with the merchants, whalers etc who come by as a single entity. The Anglo-American War proved to be a boon for Samoa, as meddling in its internal affairs died down, the powers having bigger fish to fry, but the importance of Apia as a harbour attracted fresh trade.
Historically Britain and France had claims and even settlements on islands in the Western Pacific, as well as relations with the kings of Fiji and Tonga.
But the main battleground in the great Pacific naval war, during the Anglo-American War had been in the South Pacific, the British isolated communities on Pitcairn Island, and the various chiefs in Polynesia, including the emerging paramount chief in Tahiti. Both British and American warships, as well as merchants, raiders, and US privateers used the islands as bases, regardless of the legal standing of their operations. Several small skirmishes and clashes occurred between US and British vessels, one or two being decisive enough to eventually make it into the newspapers back home, once news from such isolated places finally reached them.
The Treaty of Montreal made no specific mention of Tahiti, but included a clause about the evacuation of temporary bases in non-sovereign territory. Whilst most politicians in London had Valparaiso in mind, and the railheads across the Andes, the treaty also applied to Polynesia, and saw the evacuation by both sides of the small forward bases established during the war. Britain and the USA, however, established more formal relations with the paramount chief, now calling himself king, and established permanent missions in his territories.
The Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa has long been defined by the struggle between Egypt and its neighbours to the South. Our age is no different. King Theodore II (Tewodros II) of Abyssinia clashed several times with the expansionist Sultanate of Egypt during the late 1860s and early 1870s.
With the Klondike Crisis of 1875, and the apparent likelihood of war between Britain and France, as allies of the two main protagonists in North America, Britain began to worry about the potential for French strangling the route to India. Since the early 1860s the route had increasingly been through the Egyptian Suez Canal. Egypt, an ally of France, might be expected to act to interdict this passage, and if not willing initially to do so, France had enough influence through credit and commercial agreements to bring pressure to bear upon the sultanate.
The British response was that if France were to close the Suez Canal, then France herself would not be able to gain in any potential conflict. Even as the Radical uprising occurred in Paris and the danger of war receded, the British went ahead with their plans. Using existing trading bases in Aden, Britain acquired possession of several Somali ports, concluding agreement with native chiefs who were willing, or backing others to take power to be in a position to conclude such.
During the Anglo-American War of the mid 1880s some of these positions were abandoned, and in a twist of fate one or two were in turn occupied by France, securing agreements in turn with the native rulers. With the conclusion of the war, the British and French occupied ports were formalised in a bi-lateral agreement between the two nations.
The East coast of Africa is the territory of Arab sultanates. The Omani sultanate, wracked by internal problems has divided into two, the Southern portion securing its capital at Zanzibar. Owning a large swathe of the East African coast, sharing it with the Somali sultanates, this sultanate began pressing inland in earnest with the advent of European adventurers. Men like Stanley, proving to their paymasters that the interior offered profit, led to Arab penetration and settlement into the Eastern Congo, where the new states came into contact and thus conflict with the Cannibalistic peoples there. By 1890, the Arab sultanates, their interior governors and breakaway statelets, account for the majority of Eastern Africa, and form a continuum both along the coast, and within the interior from Tanganyika, the Congo and up to Equatoria.
The Empire of Portugal owns a wide strip of land from Angola in the West to Mozambique in the East. Until the 1870s the largest settlements were on the coasts, but starting with the British action in the Horn of Africa, and receiving a greater stimulus from Arab penetration into the interior, Portuguese expeditions to join their holdings with more than a theoretical line on a map occurred. During the period of the wars in Italy, and between Britain and the USA, Portugal steadily expanded its exploration and colonisation efforts. By 1890, the interior has established provincial capitals, and trade routes with both the Arab states to the North, and the Boers to the South
The Boers, a Dutch-originated protestant people had been settled in the Cape of Good Hope when Britain took possession of the colony at the start of the century. By the time of the British Civil War, in the early-mid 1830s,, Britain had outlawed slavery and was moving towards emancipation of the last of the slave populations. This, combined with a reaction against radical Protestantism in the form of the Settlement of 1836, added impetus to a Boer movement to move out of the Cape Province and into the interior - the Voortrek.
By the 1890s half a dozen Boer states exist, spanning from Southern Bechuanaland, across the Orange River, the Transvaal, into Natal in the South and North into Bulawayo and Matebeleland. Conflict with the native states, with the Zulu Kingdom, and clashes with the Portuguese have made the Boer community a militarised one.
I realise this is still something of a hodgepodge but to be honest its been gnawing at me so much its beginning to depress me, so I felt it was better to get the vague outline of the big picture down on 'paper' than to try to tidy it up too much. I hope I have used the many good ideas and comments from people to produce something that is at least plausible. Thanks !
From my own board, some discussion on these issues
Thanks for your comments on Africa.
In a TL with a strong and independent Egypt, you are likely to see a large Egyptian African Empire. Prior to your POD Egypt already controlled most of today's Sudan, and the increased strain of your Egypt's military ventures are likely to provoke further expansion in an effort to increase revenues. Historically, Egypt's expansion petered out due to the stress of the enormous debt burden, but Egypt had already been asserting control over the Lacustrine kingdoms of Uganda and was pushing into today's Central African Republic and Chad.
I'm considering this likely myself. However, how would Egypt be able to enforce its ruler - through indirect rule, or attempts to impose direct rule ? I reckon that Soudan and Equatoria would be under direct control, at least that's what I'm working with.
I would think Britain would counter with support of Zanzibar, which controlled the coast from Mozambique to Mogadishu, and was spreading inland. In OTL, Bismarck was able to use the threat of siding with France over Egypt to wring concessions from Britain in Africa; this is clearly not the case in your TL, so British expansion in the region seems logically to be likely to be accomplished through a Zanzibari protectorate.
I don't see Britain as having the stretch to create a formal protectorate over Zanzibar here. Involvement, trade, agreements etc, yes and perhaps a most favoured nation kind of thing I see slavers and traders from Zanzibar as being the ones to open up the interior from the East. The Wargames Foundry has some very interesting articles on the Arabs in the Eastern Congo, on Stanley's role with them, and on how 'European' some of their settlements there impressed people as being. Without Belgium to destroy them, I see these as dominating the interior and joining borders with Egyptian Equatoria.
You might also consider what happens to Libya and Tunis - France would most likely sponsor Egyptian control over these - it encouraged this even in OTL - and the Ottomans are in no position to do anything about it.
I plan on having these remain as per OTL. To extend Egyptian control would take either another war, or an aspect of a war, either way not covered. Thus Tunis is practically independent, and Libya probably sufficiently autonomous that its practically independent in many ways too. Lol, remember that in a Plethora of PRINCES, the more rulers the better
In the Horn of Africa, Ottoman sovereignty was claimed over the entire coast to Ras Tafun (now spelled Ras Xaafun, I believe), and actual control over Suakin, Massawa, and Zeila (all leased to Egypt, and probably just plain grabbed in your TL) had been constant since the 16th c, and the Egyptians had been spreading their control over the coast in the 2nd half of the 19th c - in your TL that process will not likely abate.
Yes, I expect Egypt has its bases and places. In a sense, these like Massawa will be considered so normal they probably won't be mentioned, hence, er, my forgetting to mention them
2. Abyssinia can go however you want. Possible trends would be:
a. It's use as a bulwark against Egyptian expansion by Britain accomplished through provision of arms and advisors
b. It's conquest by Egypt later in the century, quite possible due to the spread of Islam and internal disunity.
c. Something like historical, where someone consolidates control in Abyssinia and Egypt turns to easier and more profitable expansion.
I've gone with point c, after clashes with Egypt. I read that Menelik II was a protege of Theodore to some degree, so without the British-induced suicide of Theodore, and the reign of John IV, the longer-lived Theodore could well die naturally and Menelik II emerge as a leader without the intervening civil wars
3. Eastern Arabia could go any number of ways. It really depends upon how well and how early Ottoman reform efforts progress. Historically the region was falling under total Wahhabist domination until Midhat was sent to the region to reestablish Ottoman contol, which initially extended all the way to Qatar, but excluded Bahrain, which wsa claimed but maintained independence due to British influence. The interior is fairly easily dominated by whomever controls the Hasa, where all the food is produced, and this was the case for the Ottomans as long as they had resources and attention to spare. I would view Britain as the only likely competitor in the region. Ottoman conquest of much of Persia will give them an enormous upper hand, as the British center of power historically was Bushire, and the removal of Shiite expansion in the region will eliminate a serious threat to Ottoman authority and attention.
Fighting the Wahabbi could well give the Ottomans 'something to do' in periods when they seem to have been forgotten about. From what I read about Kuwait they requested rather strongly to be a British protectorate. In this ATL, I'm not sure they're gonna have the choice.
After Ottoman conquest of Western Persia, I certainly see a good long period for them to consolidate and develop their influence.
End of Part 13
Part 14 is mostly discussion. Please read the actual thread for information...click text to go to thread.
Into the Twentieth Century
An Extrapolation of Trends
Russia, in its empire stretches from White Russia, Karelia and the Ukraine, to Persia, Siberia, and Alaska and the Yukon. Tsar Nicholas II, eldest son of Tsar Aleksandr II comes to the throne in the mid 1890s and by 1910 is aged sixty-seven. Married to Princess Dagmar of Denmark, he has several sons and the succession is assured in his line.
Since the acquisition of the Yukon, Russia has been fortifying its borders, expanding its internal expeditions and settlements, and boosting settlement along the coast.
Since the acquisition of Persia, Russia has been subduing the autonomous states in the East of that country, as well as trying to subvert the Khanate of Kalat, as well as the other border states. In a strange tug of war with Britain, Russia has been pulling the border nations this way and that, trying to dominate them, as one of the three forces in action.
Russia in Dzungaria, Kuldja etc is also a force in the independent state of Kashgaria.
Russia in Mongolia, and on the Amur, is a force to be reckoned with in Imperial China. Despite China's resurgance, its great Northern rival reaches across the North, whilst independent states like Tibet, Kashagaria, and Taiping China ring it from other directions.
Russia maintains three strong (in their areas) fleets - a Baltic Fleet that is the equal of Sweden, or pre-1892 Prussia as was. - a Mediterranean Fleet which is the equal of any force which can be safely mustered against it, and - a Pacific Fleet which is based at Petropavlosk and Kodiak Island, which is minor in a fleet sense and not able to take on the US Navy but in a localised sense could prove a match for Japan, or Imperial China or Taiping China.
Russia is a major conundrum. It is well capable of raising the armies and fighting the wars needed to subdue Central Asian states, such as what I have it do with the petty Dzungarian states, and also to wage a war against a Persian Army that is not going to be equipped in any better way. Russia, also will gain from having free access for trade to and from the Black Sea, and with the Ottoman Empire. The acquisition of a Persian Gulf shore should also be a boost to trade, though I am not sure how much this is going to be so in the immediate term. Then there is Alaska-Yukon, the fifty percent participation in the Klondike gold rush etc. But how much this is offset by the lack of any port more viable than Petropavlosk or Ayan on the Sea of Okhotsk? No Vladivostock or the province that it stands on. This means no direct access to Korea, and the economy of that vassal kingdom.
Russia in the West has lost Poland and Finland, and any direct influence it had in the Rumanian principalities. What this means both for trade and industrialisation I am not sure.
Consider the navy for instance. OTL by the time of the Crimean War, the Russian Navy in the Black Sea remained largely a SAILING navy, not a steam-driven ship-of-the-line one. It was efficient in what it was, but greatly outdated and outclassed by the Anglo-French force which it could not hope to meet in battle. This has definite relevance in this timeline, as it could well indicate that altough Russia made the advance to iron warships after the defeat in the 1860s it has failed to modernise and keep up with other great powers, mainly because it does not feel the need to.
In OTL Russia made several great attempts to catch up, not least around the turn of the century with purchases of foreign-built warships (from France, the USA, and rather curiously Denmark) and with adopting or buying in foreign technology.
I am also finding strategic considerations confusing. For example one can point to areas of clashing interests with most major powers - with Britain over the arc of independent states surrounding British India, with France and Austria on strategic European issues, and with the USA over Alaska and the Yukon. But some of these are going to be more important than others. For example, Russo-American relations could well be quite cordial most of the time. There will be areas of rivalry (perhaps Hawaii), but negotiated treaties would have settled the issue of the demarcated border since the crisis of the mid 1870s. Thus, there is no logical reason why Russia and the USA should be rivals rather than partners in many things. The Anglo-American War can be expected to have shown Russia the dangers of under-estimating Britain on the one hand, and the potential strength of the USA on the other. Thus, if one is looking for an ATL power to replace France as a benefactor to Russia in terms of loans, technology etc, then why does the USA not meet this requirement?
Thus it could well come down to the question of whether Russia sees the need to continue to develop and wants to, or whether a certain self-satisfied stagnation sets in ?
I think one major difference that is perhaps under-stated is the approach to imperialism in this timeline. Britain for example can be said to have followed the following policy :-
- consolidate existing holdings
- establish protectorates as points of power-projection
- establish alliances with key regional powers
In addition, there is the guarantor role, with Britain being a guarantor of Texas since the 1840s, and also of Miskitia since it ceased to be a protectorate. I imagine a similar role with regard to the two independent Canadian states.
Differences with OTL include the fact that protectorates do not become colonies, because there is no drive to develop new colonies. Thus, for example, the Maori Kingdom of New Zealand remains a protectorate (and is analogous to how Madagascar was in OTL before France decided to annex it).
The war with Venezuela over the Orinoco border can be considered to be consolidation of existing holdings, the establishment of a definite border for British Guyana where the British want it to be, and not seeing it pushed back by Venezuelan encroachment.
Thus, the entanglements with South America can be reviewed in this light. The support for Paraguay is not arbitrary, its on the back of a decision to back Paraguay as their major ally in South America. These things kind of grow, too - initially the decision made sense because in the first instance it gave access to Paraguayan markets and it was a buffer against an embittered Argentina. The establishment of protectorates over the Republic of Uruguay (more or less since its birth) and the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia also fit into this patterm. It is an ATL analogy of colonial annexation - involvement in a theatre brings with it a need to consolidate and deepen that involvement. Thus the support for the territorial annexation by allies, and direct military support where necessary.
With regard to the ring of independent states around British India, this is again a deliberate policy. The nature of the 'Game' from Britain's perspective is not to annex but to influence. As Nicholas I once said in OTL about the Ottoman Empire, so it can be applied here - better a neighbour that can be dominated, than a direct border with a rival power which cannot. The British administration in India most definitely does not want to find itself with a several thousand miles long border with imperial Russia. Much better to deal with the Khan of Kalat, the Emir of Afghanistan, the Sikh rulers, the Central Asian rulers etc.
A lot of good points from people, which I will address in one post if I may, seeing as my life is full of planning and paperwork at the moment !
Britain won't be investing much in the USA for the simple reason that investing a country you have been at war with and may go to war with again is not a safe investment. Capital tends to get confiscated, loans annulled that kind of thing. In addition, risk is a big thing in international finance.
I expect that during the period of Radical rapprochement from the later 1860s to the end of the 1870s there would have been some investment, but from the start of the Sherman administration onwards none, and from after the Anglo-American War no-one is going to risk investing in the USA.
Regarding the US economy, I would expect it to develop in a different way. I am no economist, I can't say foir sure what. I would expect that enough other capital-rich nations and companies would invest in the USA in this ATL. Maybe this means Belgium and Switzerland. Maybe its more obvious, and I just don't see it.
But overall, I see the USA as not lacking in necessary investment. To my mind even a weaker US economy should be able to invest outwardly - it will depend on the rules governing federal doobries. A non-bankrupt USA almost defaulted on loans under Grover Cleveland. The key is whether in this ATL the laws are changed, freeing the US economy from the shackles of OTL
As for Russia finding Britain as a partner, they did work together in the mid 1880s, but sizeable differences remain. In the later 1890s Britain and the USA have a certain rapprochement. I doubt this leads to much.
Gold in the Witwatersrand
Due to the Boers spreading out over a greater area, with Boer states in Bechuanaland and Matebeleland as well as the Orange River valley, the Transvaal and Natal, the discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand is delayed until 1905.
The situation of the Boer states is also different from OTL. They have never come under British domination - there was no war in the 1870s, no treaty which gave Britain suzerain powers, or which denied them the right to handle their own foreign affairs.
Nevertheless, once gold is discovered the workforce is still going to involve a large number of Uitlanders, from the British Cape Province and from Britain itself. One wonders if they will come from elsewhere in this ATL ? Argentine occurred to me, due to its less than happy position, but I doubt it has the population to export.
None of the strategic considerations are the same - with Natal a Boer state there is no reliance on Cape province ports. There is also no reason for complaint if railways are built into Portuguese Mozambique.
The British approach to imperialism is also different - they aren't looking to conquer or colonise, but primarily to influence.
I am also wondering whether after 1892 there might not be Prussian and Dutch settlement in Namibia, the formation of an independent state on the borders of the Boers.
The opening of the Trans-Oceanic Canal is going to provide a major boost to US trade and the US economy. I date this to 1897. The canal crosses from Nicaragua (in the US-dominated UPCA) to Miskitia, which is independent. Thus, it cannot be an all-American affair closed to other nations. Thus, again, it would carry trade from countries other than the USA and the UPCA. As well as Miskitia, the obvious contenders are Texas, Mexico, and the Republic of the Yucatan, as well as the European powers. I think they do need to be split into two groups as the local countries could well come to rely on a transit which is in American hands - Mexico especially, for example, could get used to ships traversing from one ocean to the other and being able to, but if the USA were to close the canal to them then it would be a massive economic weapon.
I see the later 1890s as a period of US-British warming of relations. It will never be close like in the 1870s, but the hostility that preceded and followed the mid 1880s war has died down. A new generation has come to power, with different visions.
With the opening of the canal, I see the USA begin to focus increasingly on trans-Pacific trade. Across the ocean lie the independent states of Imperial China, Taiping China, Japan and Vietnam (de facto), whilst Korea remains more of a vassal to the Chi'ing.
One can imagine the peace in the region constantly marred by small skirmishes and border wars, often unofficial. Vietnam no longer has a border with the Chinese Empire but with smaller successor states in the interior, and with French Kwangchow province. Whilst French influence in Vietnam will remain high it doesn't mean it will remain popular, or consistent. There will be emperors or Chief Ministers who oppose it, who fear it and who court other nations - the USA would be seen as a safe bet due to the distance and lack of nearby colonies (unlike Britain, Spain or the Netherlands).
The same could be said for Japan where the Bakufu has modernised under French auspices, fought off rebellions etc and maintained the power of the Shogunate. The daimyo have been subordinated to central authority and the trends visible in OTL 1860s continued under the Tokugawa.
Absent Germany from the international scene, and Prussia since 1892, any nations looking to militarise or reform would be looking to different powers - Britain, France, the USA, and quite likely Russia and Austria.
The Russian model might be good for cash-strapped Far Eastern countries, but may at the same time be too alien, and too dangerous given how close Russia is and how immense.
Austria would certainly be interesting, an extension of its power into areas it really didn't get much of in OTL. Victorious against Prussia, and against Piedmont, Austrian arms under Emperor Rudolph are going to look a good bet, and a validated way forward.
Maybe Belgium could also gain from this ?
In OTL, Austria had a small naval force based in the Far East and a trading sphere. And that was with OTL's problems.
I agree regarding Austria's dominant concern being the Central and Eastern Mediterranean, and the Red Sea. John knows more about it than I do, but somehow Austria had a trading position in the Soudan and surrounding area, and I would see no reason for this to be mitigated greatly.
China, or 'The Chinas' as they would probably be known, offer great opportunitiesd for trade. I was thinking that maybe an Austria on the up, with a recent great military victory to its name, could expand its influence here, even if it is not a major strategic interest. After all, how strategically interested in Persia was Sweden in OTL ?
Looking at the Eastern Mediterranean, things have been 'quiet' there for forty years, unless I misremember my own timeline ! The dualities of Russia-Ottomans and France-Egypt still exist. In a sense, Britain and Austria have less directly at stake, but perhaps more indirectly at stake, what with the Suez Canal being an important route to India, and for Austria being the key to its thriving Red Sea trade. That neither Austria nor Britain has been directly involved in conflict would help their position with both dualities.
I don't see the dualities as being equal. Russia and the Ottoman Empire are bound under the successor treaty to Unkiar Skelessi. There was no Straits Convention in this ATL, and Unkiar Skelessi remained in force until the c1870s IIRC. Thus, the successor treaty builds on this, but recognises that Russia no longer has any position of protector towards the Ottomans. Its more of a convention between equals now, and the fruits of this would have been seen in the involvement of both parties in the invasion and carving up of Persia. Russia leases bases off the Ottomans, probably being facilities at Smyrna, and the entire base at Lemnos, these being where the Russian Mediterranean Fleet has its forward bases. Russian warships have automatic right of passage through the Straits.
France-Egypt has always been more of an alliance and influence thing. Franbce's role is important but has gone through periods of waxing and waning. In theory France could cease its political involvement, but its economic, military procurement and bureaucratic influence would remain. However, I certainly don't see the young King Charles XI as being the kind of person to withdraw French influence from anywhere !
Regarding Ireland and Britain, the 1830s civil war would have delivered a big hit to population. For example, in addition to the battles across Ireland, the war there was climaxed by the massacre and expulsion of the majority of the Protestant population of Ulster who settled in Western Scotland and the North-West of England. I see this as mitigating the population effects of any famine. In addition, the new kingdom would be established with French bureaucracy and proven management - the situation which in OTL led to the worst effects of the Potato Famine would be eradicated. Other chaoses may reign in the immediate aftermath of the war, but I don't see the pressure as being the same.
Later in the century, after decades of growth and re-establishment Irish emigration probably becomes an issue again. I could imagine some certainly head to the independent Canadas; beyond that is confusing because would Irishmen from an independent kingdom head to British colonies? Might they not be more tempted to go to Texas, or Uruguay or some such?
Much as I would prefer the world to revolve around the ins and outs of European powers, one cannot escape the fact that the USA at the dawn of the twentieth century stands at the threshold of greatness. Even without the Spanish-American War in this ATL, the USA has a global presence. Sherman's interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine ensured that the USA would challenge every attempt to exert influence within the Americas by European powers. This led to war with Britain, and an eventual defeat, though as the defeat was in Argentina the actual severity of losing the struggle was mitigated. The naval defeat off Newfoundland would be more of a spur to action in the years ahead than a national humiliation, and the inroads made into Rupertsland brought Winnipeg under American control.
In the years since the Anglo-American War, the roughly two decades since the peace in the 1880s, the USA has passed through Radical Party administrations which focused again on workers and farmers and the economy, and with the renewed spirit of optimism with the opening of the Trans-Continental Canal in 1897 has entered a period where the USA believes in a global mission, whilst at the same time sees a warming of relations with Britain.
There are tensions with Russia over trade, power and influence in the Northern Pacific, and Russia's de facto acquisition of a protectorate over the Kingdom of Hawaii in the early 1900s has added to the tensions. US trade with The Chinas, with Japan and with a Vietnam where US influence in other areas is increasing, is growing mightily.
The UPCA is seeing new tensions as we approach 1910. There are moves within it to have it become a US state, rather than a quasi-independent nation that cannot do anything without Washington's say-so. The factions within the UPCA are a disparate lot - the blacks resetled there after the civil war, in autonomous mini-Liberias which merged into the federal nature of the country, the Union veterans, the veterans from the Anglo-American War, the native Hispanic and Indian peoples, the traders and entrepreneurs drawn by the canal and the new wealth, and who provide the greatest impetus towards formal merger with the USA.
The Kingdom of Miskitia however provides something of a contradiction. Its independence guaranteed by Great Britain, Miskitia refuses to play the role of US vassal, and has negotiated independent rights to its end of the canal. It maintains an independent stance on foreign affairs, and King Robert II (who is in this ATL alive and well in 1910 unlike OTL) heads a nation that looks askance at the idea of the USA annexing the UPCA.
The Republic of the Yucatan is not too thrilled with the idea, either. After having shaken off US protectorship in the wake of the US Civil War, Yucatan has developed a strong individual identity and sees its period of vassalship in a negative light. It has developed trade in the Caribbean and has strong links to the Republic of Texas. It would too not view the annexation of the UPCA as a happy act.
More importantly, perhaps, neither Britain nor France would react well to any moves towards this. The USA and Britain have seen a warming of their relationship since the end of the 1890s, and the president in Washington has to be aware of this.
At the same time, the USA has an ambivalent relationship with Russia. On the one hand they are suspicious of Russian influence in the Pacific, and angered by the protectorate over Hawaii, but on the other hand US-Russian bilateral relations remain good, and the USA supplies Russia with naval development expertise - at a price.
President Ignatius Donelly's 1896 bid for re-election fails, the US public tired after two terms of introspective Radical Party administrations, albeit under different presidents. President Mark Hanna is elected in 1896 for the Reform Party, and re-elected again in 1900, but dies in 1904 during the campaign season.
The 1904 election is thus contested between Williams J Bryan of the Radical Party and Robert La Follette of the Reform Party. Building on Hanna's legacy, La Follette wins and serves out the term 1904 to 1908.
However, by 1908 he is facing strong internal pressure within the Reform Party and his bid for re-election runs into serious problems. The controversy in the UPCA over the merchant-entrepreneur's party's wish to see the nation annexed to the USA causes problems as La Follette's negative reaction causes a backlash from the right-wing part of his party. Refusal to intervene in Hawaii causes chaos in the primaries, and eventually at the Reform Party national convention a stormy session chooses Henry Cabot Lodge as the presidential nominee.
The 1908 election is a chaotic shambles of an event. Splinters from both the Radicals and the La Follette Reformists add to the mix, and the rise of Union Labour under Euegene Debs simply creates a situation which is too close to call. In a result where all of the factions carry states, it is eventually Lodge who emerges as the winner, and who is inaugurated as president in March 1909.
Maybe I should have stuck to my original impulse not to name any more presidents, but I thought it would be of some interest. I don't see it as a problem that Bryan and La Follette are both of an isolationist tendency, their main differences are on economic domestic issues and La Follette wins on that basis. It is his defeat in 1908 where overseas issues come to dominate - neither the Radicals nor La Follette's wing of the Reform Party seem to cater for the protection or advancement of US interests in the issues of the day.
I don't know if Lodge is a useful choice or not to emerge from this, but one could certainly imagine someone adopting a point of view they didn't necessarily agree with in order to get the nomination.
Of course in the ATL I could simply make people up, but as yet I prefer not to as the use of real people in different circumstances seems far more...fun !
The 1908 Hawaiian Crisis was a defining moment in the US presidential campaign of 1908. The arrival in Honolulu of the Russian battleship Rossiya seemed to be a slap in the face for American interests, an impression heightened by the fact that the new flagship of the Russian Pacific Fleet had been built with significant American technological help.
President Robert La Follette, running for a third term was faced with a rising tide of anger from within his own Reform Party, and suddenly what had looked like a competition between an incumbent with a sound economic record, and an unknown of the Radical Party with policies that were little different except at the edges, now became wide open. The Reform Party primaries began to return electors empowered to vote for candidates other than the president.
At the same time, dis-satisfied Radical Party activists began to toy with the Union Labour movement of Euegene Debs, whilst William J Bryan was running on an Independent Populist platform.
At the Reform Party convention in the Summer of 1908, there was a narrow victory for Henry Cabot Lodge, adopted by the foreign interventionist wing of the Reform Party as their candidate, regardless of his own feelings on the matters to hand. At the heart of this victory had been Lodge's comments on the position of US citizens in the United Provinces of Central America. A movement started by merchants and entrepreneurs, attracted to the UPCA since the opening of the Trans-Continental Canal in 1897, had begun clamouring for annexation to the USA. La Follette's administration had dismissed these calls, but big business had made its contributions to Lodge's campaign, and despite his own ambiguous feelings on the matter, Henry Cabot Lodge had made a series of key speeches in favour of annexation.
The November 1908 election was a confusion of chaos, with every candidate carrying some state or other. In the event, a tiny majority was the cause for Lodge's victory, and in March 1909 he was inaugurated as president of the United Stated of America.
HH Prince Muhammed Said Halim Pasha, born 18th January 1865 in Shubra, Cairo, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, married 1890, Emine Indji Toussoun, born 1st March 1876, (daughter of Muhammed Toussoun Pasha and Bachachat-Imr Hanim), died 31st May 1915 in Yenikeuy, Bosphorus, and had issue. He died 6th December 1921 in Rome.
Obviously, this is OTL.
From what I recall of the Islamic succession laws, had Ismail not changed it to a primogeniture system in the 1860s, Said Halim would have been ruler of Egypt after the death of Ismail.
In the ATL, this occurs in the 1895 on Ismail's death. He would thus accede as Sultan Said II of Egypt.
IIRC under the same Islamic succession laws, his successor would in fact be the guy installed by the British as khedive in 1914 after they overthrew the incumbent who came out in favour of the Ottoman Empire.
Was it Egypt like ? I can't help but think that it will from time-to-time be key, especially with the Suez Canal being so important. Including in its realm Lebanon (under French auspices), Palestine, Transjordania, the Hejaz with Mecca and Medina, Asir and Yemen, as well as Soudan, Eritrea and Equatoria, the geographical spread of Egypt is both dangerously vast and fascinating large.
I foresee that the Arab slaver states of the Eastern interior, established in concert with European adventurers such as Stanley and occupying what would in OTL become the Eastern Congo, would be important to Egypt's economy.
Abyssinia has diverged differently without the intervening rule of King John, going from a longer reign of Theodore to his OTL protege and here his annointed successor in Menelik.
I view Tripoli as still an Ottoman possession, and the Ottoman revival after the 1870s as seeing the reimposition of direct rule, and later the expansion into Fezzan and the potential for a clash with Egypt in the Arab emirates and sultanates of the interior.
Tunis, under the Bey, remains nominally Ottoman but in effect independent. I imagine there would be a certain amount of French influence, probably balanced by British and Austrian to assuage the fears that Tunis could become a French dependency.
Egypt also retains Crete, and the anchorage at Suva Bay which has been developed by the Egyptian Navy. This brings it within direct confrontation with the Mecklenburg Kingdom of Greece. But Greece since its disaster has never really recovered. It is poor, unstable and squeezed out of strategic considerations.
French influence within Egypt, from finance through loans, to military advisors, purchase of new military technology, and French bureaucracy and industry all lead France to have a dominant position within Egypt, even if the French government of the time has little direct interest in the sultanate.
I envisage the arsenal of Alexandria to at least be as good as that of Foochow before the Sino-French war, able to build small warships with no additional help. I would imagine that Egypt with its naval tradition, and its ability to draw upon France for technological assistance in upgrading its facilities, can actually build large cruisers and small battleships off its own back. It probably uses French, and maybe Austrian, yards for new designs - eg large battleship developments, or something akin to a destroyer when they first come out.
End of Part 15