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Old November 29th, 2004, 11:44 PM
Jared Jared is offline
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Decades of Darkness

The Decades of Darkness TL was originally posted on AH.com a few months back, but the thread was sadly eaten in the crash. So, belatedly, I've recreated it.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Decades of Darkness, it's a timeline where the United States splits early in its history, with a free-soil New England in the north and a slaveowning South, which becames a rather large and unpleasant place. There's a more detailed synopsis below, or you can visit the website (http://alternatehistory.com/decadesofdarkness). The website is having some display problems (a lot of characters show up as question marks - I don't know why), but the main page has a link to a rich text document with the latest version of the timeline, and the maps are on the main page.

The longer version of the synopsis:

Decades of Darkness is an alternate history where U.S. President Thomas Jefferson dies during a crucial stage of the debate over the Embargo Act, a commercial measure which was causing considerable anger in New England and New York. Clinton and Madison, Jefferson’s successors, continue the Act, precipitating a secession movement in New England, which is dragged into a wider war with Britain (the War of 1811). At the war’s end, the USA is forced to concede the independence of seven states (Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey) as well as conceding parts of the northwest to Michigan Territory (a joint British/New Englander possession) and an Indian Confederation under Tecumseh as a buffer state. The severed states form the Republic of New England, or the ‘Northern Confederacy’ as some of its inhabitants prefer to call it.

After the war, the USA is dominated by slaveholding states and (at first) a desire for vengeance. Another Anglo-American War was fought during the 1830s (the War of 1833) which led to the defeat of the Indian Confederation, but the United States was unable to defeat the combined British-Yankee forces. The war eventually ended with the United States acquiring some small pieces of the former Indian Confederation but abandoning its preference for northern conquest. Instead, the United States turned west and south, conquering Texas after its 1833 revolution, and its citizens poured into northern Mexico.

The First Mexican War (1850-1852) saw the USA defeat the Mexicans and acquire a huge part of northern Mexico – all of what they acquired in OTL, plus Baja California, Tamaulipas, and the rest of Mexico north of the 25th parallel. The USA also established a ‘protectorate’ over the Yucatan. Since then, the USA has also annexed Cuba (1858) and Nicaragua (1859). After the annexation of Nicaragua, U.S. President Jefferson Davis proclaimed that it is the manifest destiny of the white race to unite all the peoples of the Americas until “all these lands are one nation under God”. Since then, the USA has acquired Puerto Rico (1862), Honduras (1869), the Dutch Antilles and Surinam (1869), the French Caribbean (1875) and in two further Mexican Wars (1863-1854 and 1881 but with ongoing guerrilla conflicts) has taken control of all of Mexico. The United States now stretches from the 46th parallel to Nicaragua, and includes much of the Caribbean. Slavery is legal in virtually all of the USA, except for a few states in the northeast. Indentured restrictions have been placed on many, although not all, of the Spanish-speaking inhabitants within U.S. territory.

In Europe, the revolutions of 1849 saw the German Reich established, including Prussia, the Netherlands, Austria, and most of the German-speaking states. It has since acquired much of Switzerland, Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark, and Alsace from France. The Russian Empire expanded greater than in our history, acquiring much of OTL Romania, Bulgaria and parts of Turkey, but it has suffered a major setback with its defeat in the Second Napoleonic Wars. Italy has unified, but without the rich northern provinces of Lombardy and Venetia, which remain in firm Austrian rule. After decades of civil war, Spain was divided into a new northern Catalan-speaking Kingdom of Aragon. Aragon was briefly partitioned between France and Spain but has since been restored. The Ottoman Empire collapsed after a long war with Russia, and the British established a protectorate over the remnant core of Turkey and Mestopotamia. The British also have an expanded empire, with a larger Australia, Canada, and more settlement to the Cape.

Recently, the world has been engulfed by the Second Napoleonic Wars, with Napoleon IV, Emperor of France, driving a European struggle which spilled across the globe and saw American, New England and Brazilian troops in Europe. The war is now over, and the Third Congress of Vienna has met to redraw the borders of Europe and indeed, the world...

Also, note that the Decades of Darkness timeline is written through a combination of ‘eyewitness accounts’ and ‘historical documents’ – historical texts, newspaper articles, etc. None of these sources are entirely reliable. Eyewitnesses can be mistaken or miss details. Historical documents are written through often-biased historians or reporters, particularly nationalistic ones, and these authors are also sometimes guilty of sloppy research. Thus, they are sometimes biased or inaccurate, and they may focus on their own pet topics and ignore other important historical facts. Not everything they say can be trusted.

Now, onto the newest post, which deals with the end of the Second Napoleonic Wars in Europe...

Decades of Darkness #87: The Sword and the Mind

“There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind.”
- Napoleon I, Emperor of France

“War alone brings to the greatest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the men who have the courage to meet it.”
- Napoleon IV, Emperor of France, during his abdication speech in Paris, just before his departure for Algiers

“Never start a war without being sure you can finish it.”
- Thomas Corbin, U.S. President, to King Felipe VI of Spain (attributed)

“The best war is always the one fought between two of your enemies.”
- King Christian IX of Denmark, describing the Second Napoleonic Wars

* * *

From: “No Place in the Sun: France From Great Power to Great Embarrassment”
(c) 1951, Prof. D. Bennett
Kingsland University
Kingsland University Press, Hampshire [OTL Southport, Queensland]
Kingdom of Australia

12. Lost Opportunities

In short, Napoleon IV chose style over substance, fleeting glory over lasting achievement, and rifles over sculptor’s chisels. Few national leaders in his time or since can match his ability to deliver a well-turned phrase, or deliver a ceremony of pomp and glory. He was perhaps the first leader to use the national media as an instrument of policy, and he regularly succeeded in motivating the French people according to his will, and to follow his goals. Where he failed was in setting valuable goals.

Napoleon IV placed too much emphasis on emulating the military achievements of his great-uncle, the first Napoleon. His much-trumpeted colonial expeditions in Indochina and Africa gained France nothing but momentary glory and pride, and sank money and military resources which could have been put to better use.

Yet even a perfectly-organised military would have availed him little, given the forces arrayed against him. For one area where Napoleon IV did match his great-uncle was in placing ego ahead of diplomacy. He pursued his own military adventures regardless of the forces arrayed against him, and created needless enemies. His conquest of Aragon is the epitome of his pursuit of short-term glory over long-term gains. By doing so, he unnecessarily made an enemy out of the British Empire, the same foe which had undone his great-uncle, and set himself on a course for war with Germany.

France’s history throughout the Fourth Age can best be termed “opportunities lost”. He was unfortunate that the French language lacked the useful German word “Realpolitik”. In his foreign policy, he should have pursued quiet results, not column inches. His military was useful as a deterrent, to prevent war with Germany, but not as the chief goal of his policy. He could easily have secured a rapprochement, if not necessarily outright alliance, with Britain. For the United Kingdom favoured a balance of power in Europe, and would gladly have followed friendly relations with France to allow the same quiet economic growth which made Britain prosperous. By pursuing an alliance with Russia, Napoleon IV instead unbalanced the Powers in Europe, with unfortunate results.

Instead, Napoleon IV would have best served himself and France by expanding the sciences, industry, arts and commerce. There was much wealth to be made through trade and the growing spread of industrialisation, but where Napoleon IV made any encouragement of industry it was to foster those manufactures easily converted to war. France already had a reputation for fostering the arts, and this was one area where imperial patronage could have been valuably employed. And an encouragement of the sciences would have brought far more long-term benefits to France than even a successful war with Germany.

And above all, Napoleon IV made the cardinal error of awakening the Americans from their introverted world-view. Where before the United States had been happy to hide behind the Atlantic and seek influence in its own continents, now they had been called onto the world stage. In the long run, this may have been his greatest mistake of all...

* * *

Taken from: “Blood and Iron: The Concise Encyclopaedia of Military History”
(c) 1949 General D. Hanson (retd)
Vanderbilt Press
New York City: Long Island
Republic of New England

Second Napoleonic Wars (16 February 1884 – 28 August 1885).
Series of linked wars in Europe, with associated colonial struggles in Africa and Asia, precipitated by the formation of the Axis Pact between France and Russia (and later Spain). The immediate cause of the war was the Franco-Spanish annexation of Aragon, and subsequent Anglo-German demands for withdrawal. The wars were fought between the Axis Powers, initially France, Russia, Spain, Serbia and Montenegro, and later Italy, and the Allies (not all of whom were allied), initially the British Empire, Germany and Turkey, and later Portugal, the United States, Brazil, Greece, and New England. The wars resulted in the breaking of the Franco-Russian alliance, the re-creation of Aragon, and significant territorial changes within Europe and in the colonial empires.


State Entry Exit Combat Forces Casualties
Brazil 1870 1871 40,000 6,000
France 1870 1871 1,050,000 340,000
Germany [1] 1870 1871 1,800,000 460,000
Italy 1870 1871 850,000 280,000
Montenegro 1870 1870 20,000 6,000
New England 1871 1871 200,000 30,000
Serbia 1870 1871 115,000 36,000
Spain 1870 1871 650,000 110,000
Portugal 1870 1871 430,000 75,000
Russia 1870 1871 1,500,000 520,000
Turkey 1870 1871 180,000 55,000
UK [2] 1870 1871 740,000 110,000
USA 1870 1871 105,000 13,000



* * *

Taken from “The Compleat Textbook Series: Modern European History”
By J. Edward Fowler (Principal Author)
Sydney, Kingdom of Australia.
(c) 1948 Eagle Publishing Company: Sydney. Used with permission.

The Third Congress of Vienna (1885-1886)

The Third Congress of Vienna is the collective name given to a series of agreements and negotiations completed in the aftermath of the Second Napoleonic Wars. The attendees were Britain, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Aragon, the United States and Brazil from among the victors, and France, Russia, Italy and Spain from among the defeated powers.

The Third Congress marked the last time the powers of Europe met in general congress after the end of another European war, this one like the first initiated by the defeat of another expansionist Bonaparte. The Congress revisited Vienna, in large part because that was the residence of the Holy Roman Emperor, who remained the expected representative of the Reich in foreign affairs. This did not stop the attendance of the Kaisers of Prussia and the Netherlands, nor that of a string of German monarchs, and especially not the dignified Reichs Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who became the de facto representative of Germany for those foreign powers who did not wish to negotiate with three Great Powers and a host of lesser monarchs. It also included, for the first time, representatives from the New World powers, the United States and Brazil – another historic development.

Unlike the previous two Congresses, which had invited all the states in Europe to attend and negotiate, the Third Congress deliberately included only those powers which had been involved in the military struggles, and excluded other nations. Even Russia was not formally an attendee of the Congress, as peace terms had already been negotiated, but Grand Duke Michael attended as an ‘observer’, and concluded some informal negotiations regardless of the status of his formal invitation. Neither Sweden nor Denmark were formally invited either, as they had remained neutral throughout the war. Even some of the wartime participants were excluded, such as Serbia and Montenegro, which were kept out because the peace treaty with Russia had already disposed of the status of those two nations. Turkey, Australia, Canada and the Cape colonies were also represented only through Britain, despite the contribution those nations had made to the war.

Also unlike the previous two Congresses, which had tried to act in accordance with the principles of creating unity in Europe and restoration of established forms of government, the outcome of the Third Congress was a series of interlocking agreements developed according to conflicting national interests, and expressed the competing wishes of the victors. It included a formal recognition of the results of the previous peace treaty with Russia. It also included what had begun as an afterthought, with the congregation of all major powers who took the time to divide up much of the world into colonial spheres of influence, even when this involved negotiation amongst victors who had no firm requirement to trade. This was not strictly speaking part of the resolutions of the Congress, but involved “recognition of interest” amongst the various powers not to interfere in prescribed areas assigned to other powers, mostly regions in Africa.

One of the major sticking points of the Third Congress, and which was left unresolved, was the overlapping claims for southern Africa, particularly access to the River Zambezi. The Portuguese wanted recognition of their claims across the entirety of the interior north of the Zambezi and some portions south; the British (or rather, their South African colonies) wanted the Boer republics and a connection to British East Africa, the Germans wanted the Boer republics independent, and New England wanted Liberia to have as much of the hinterland as possible, including access to the Zambezi. The Boer republics themselves were not represented to state their case.

The main outcomes of the Third Congress were:

ARAGON:
European settlements:
- Restored as an independent nation
- Gained the Balearics and Andorra from France

Colonial settlements:
- Granted a ‘sphere of influence” in the Congo basin [most of OTL Zaire/Democratic Republic of the Congo, although the southern portions of that are part of Portuguese Angola] [3]

BRITAIN:
European settlements:
- Received 4,000 million francs in reparations from France
- Regained Gibraltar from Spain

Colonial settlements:
- Gained the Seychelles, Réunion and the Comoros from France
- Gained German East Africa from Germany in exchange for Madagascar and Heligoland
- Gained the Philippines from Spain
- Confirmed in its possession of Egypt
- Confirmed in its possession of British Somaliland [OTL British Somaliland less Awdal and Togdheer, but plus Bari and Nugaal]
- Recognised in its claims to British East Africa [roughly OTL Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania], stretching from the Sudan to Zanzibar, except for Abyssinia [Ethiopia], Somaliland [roughly OTL Italian Somaliland, which is left unclaimed after the Congress], and German Somaliland
- Created British Equatorial Africa from its existing Nigerian colony and gains from France [OTL Nigeria and Cameroon, and parts of Chad and the Central African Republic]
- Confirmed in its possession of Malaya
- Confirmed in its possession of the Gambia and Sierra Leone
- Confirmed in its rule over Aden, Yemen, Oman and the Indian Ocean coast of Arabia; the Red Sea and Persian Gulf coasts remained uncolonised although with substantial British influence

BULGARIA:
- Detached from Russia and created as an independent state under a cadet branch of the House of Bernadotte [Swedish royal family]

FRANCE:
European settlements:
- Conceded Nice, Savoy and Corsica to Italy
- Conceded Lorraine to Germany, where it became part of the enlarged Duchy of Alsace-Lorraine, and Nord and Artois to the Netherlands
- Agreed to pay 8,000 million francs to Britain and Germany in reparations
- Lost the Balearics and Andorra to Aragon

Colonial settlements:
- Confirmed in possession of Algeria, stretching from Oran to their new gain of Tunis (from Italy), the only French diplomatic gain from the Third Congress [4]
- Confirmed in possession of Syria-Lebanon
- Lost Indochina to Germany
- Lost Madagascar, initially to Britain but then traded by Britain to Germany
- Lost the Seychelles, Réunion and the Comoros to Britain
- Lost Gabon and its Congo possessions to Portugal
- Created French West Africa from its remaining African possessions [OTL Senegal, Guinea, southwestern Mali, Liberia and Ivory Coast]

GERMANY:
European settlements:
- Gained Lorraine from France and included it in the Duchy of Alsace-Lorraine, and Nord and Artois for the Netherlands. This led Chancellor von Bismarck to declare that all German speakers in Europe had been united, and that there was no need for further German territorial gains in Europe.
- Created the Kingdom of Poland, a state in personal union with the Holy Roman Emperor, from the former Russian Duchy of Warsaw and Austrian Kingdom of Galicia [5]
- Created the Kingdom of Courland under the role the nephew of the Kaiser of Prussia [6]
- Received 4,000 million francs in reparations from France

Colonial settlements:
- Gained Madagascar (from Britain) in exchange for German East Africa [roughly the southern half of OTL Tanzania], Heligoland and recognition of British claims to most of eastern Africa
- Gained Indochina from France
- Gained Tripoli as a new colony
- Created German Somaliland [OTL Djibouti plus the Somali provinces of Awdal and Togdheer]
- Created German West Africa [OTL Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and the southwestern part of Niger up to the river Niger]

GREECE:
- Awarded southern Albania around Sarandë

ITALY:
European settlements:
- Gained Nice, Savoy and Corsica from France
- Lost Albania [divided between Greece and an independent prince chosen from the House of Habsburg]

Colonial settlements:
- Lost Tunis to France

LIBERIA:
Recognised as a sovereign nation with New England protection (except by the USA), and with acknowledged claims to its interior [most of OTL Namibia], but with overlapping claims to the Boer republics.

MONTENEGRO:
Retained its independence but required to accept a Wittelsbach monarch [the Bavarian royal family]

NIPPON:
While not formally represented at the congress, Nippon was confirmed in its annexation of the Ladrone Islands [OTL Marianas Islands], including Guam, from Spain.

PORTUGAL:
European settlements:
- Gained the Canary Islands from Spain
- Gained border territory from Spain up to the River Navia and the district of Valverde Del Fresno

Colonial settlements:
- Confirmed in Mozambique
- Confirmed in its possession of Portuguese Guinea
- Confirmed in Angola [which does not have southern Angola as per OTL, but which extends further east to the Zambezi and into southern Zaire/Democratic Republic of the Congo]
- Created Portuguese Morocco from Morocco and gains against France [roughly OTL Morocco, western Algeria, Western Sahara, Mauritania, and northern Mali] [7]
- Created Portuguese Equatorial Africa [OTL Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Republic of the Congo (Middle Congo, not former Zaire] from gains against France
- Was unable to resolve the border along the Zambezi with the Boer Republics and British South Africa

SERBIA:
Retained its independence, but required to accept a monarch from a cadet branch of the Habsburgs

SPAIN:
European settlements:
- Recognised the independence of Aragon
- Restored Gibraltar to Britain
- Lost border territory along the River Navia and Velverde Del Fresno to Portugal
- Renamed itself Castile

Colonial settlements:
- Lost the Philippines to Britain
- Lost the Ladrone Islands [OTL Marianas Islands] to Nippon
- Lost Spanish Guinea to Portugal

RUSSIA:
European settlements:
- Lost Poland and Courland to Germany
- Lost Bulgaria, which became an independent state
- Lost the region around Kars to Turkey

TURKEY:
- Confirmed in its possession of Mesopotamia, under British protection
- Regained Kars from Russia

* * *

[1] This includes forces deployed from the associated kingdoms of Hungary, Croatia and Galicia.

[2] This includes Empire troops from Australia and South Africa.

[3] It will take the Aragonese some time to establish control of this region, but Britain and Germany have guaranteed that no other power will be permitted to take over the area. Of course, this will not stop the British themselves nibbling at the edges if the Aragonese take too long to establish themselves.

[4] Napoleon IV was still entrenched in Algeria in 1886 at the end of the Third Congress, with the support of the locals and the Algerian branch of the Foreign Legion

[5] As the New England secretary of state remarked at the congress, “Frederick IV is Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor of Austria, King of Croatia, King of Hungary, and now King of Poland. How many crowns can fit on one head?”

[6] The eastern border of the new Poland and Courland is more or less the line left after the 1793 partition of Poland, although Poland also has Warsaw in the west. The Poland-Courland border is the River Nieman. See http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/histo..._1300_1796.jpg.

[7] The border is basically the OTL Morocco-Algerian border extended south to meet the extended Mauritanian-Malian border running east. This matches the original claims of Morocco itself, which Portugal has taken over.

* * *

This post wraps up the Second Napoleonic Wars. I’ll be writing a couple more posts describing some developments elsewhere in the world, particularly in South America, then there will be another ‘global tour’ style post giving a breakdown of what’s happening around the world up to 1885-1886.

* * *

Thoughts?

Kaiser Wilhelm III
http://alternatehistory.com/decadesofdarkness/
http://decadesofdarkness.blogspot.com/
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Old November 30th, 2004, 12:23 AM
Straha Straha is offline
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How ironic. I begin posting my version of the draka ATL and decades of darkness gets posted here..
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Old November 30th, 2004, 01:57 AM
Grimm Reaper Grimm Reaper is offline
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Glorious, simply glorious. Between the Kaiser and Straha my cup is truly running over this evening.

Kaiser Wilhelm, in a related thread, I am short of time tonight, but would like to get back to our discussion as to the relative strength of Canada/New England vis a vis the USA in the near future. OK?
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Old November 30th, 2004, 02:45 AM
Archangel Michael Archangel Michael is online now
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Very well written.
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  #5  
Old November 30th, 2004, 02:49 AM
Michael Canaris Michael Canaris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser Wilhelm III
...State Entry Exit Combat Forces Casualties
Brazil 1870 1871 40,000 6,000
France 1870 1871 1,050,000 340,000
Germany [1] 1870 1871 1,800,000 460,000
Italy 1870 1871 850,000 280,000
Montenegro 1870 1870 20,000 6,000
New England 1871 1871 200,000 30,000
Serbia 1870 1871 115,000 36,000
Spain 1870 1871 650,000 110,000
Portugal 1870 1871 430,000 75,000
Russia 1870 1871 1,500,000 520,000
Turkey 1870 1871 180,000 55,000
UK [2] 1870 1871 740,000 110,000
USA 1870 1871 105,000 13,000
Are you sure the entry/exit years are correct?
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Old December 1st, 2004, 12:14 AM
G.Bone G.Bone is offline
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Wow...this finally made it to this site.

Thanks for arriving at the board. I was wondering on why Spain is still a nation 'sidering Aragon is cut off and it's pretty much trampled over with an iron boot. How long will it last before disappearing into different nations and territories of other countries?

And thanks for coming here. Will you be fixing the previous installments on your site with the squares being reformated back to " "?
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Old December 1st, 2004, 06:38 AM
Jared Jared is offline
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Replying to several posts at once here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straha
How ironic. I begin posting my version of the draka ATL and decades of darkness gets posted here..
Yeah, these things work out pretty well. Although DoD isn't the Draka. Not quite, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimm Reaper
Glorious, simply glorious. Between the Kaiser and Straha my cup is truly running over this evening.

Kaiser Wilhelm, in a related thread, I am short of time tonight, but would like to get back to our discussion as to the relative strength of Canada/New England vis a vis the USA in the near future. OK?
Sure, be happy to discuss it. I'll be watching this thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey
Very well written.
Gracias. Much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Canaris
Are you sure the entry/exit years are correct?
I'm sure they're incorrect, bad editing on my part. Read 1884 for 1870 and 1885 for 1871.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Bone
Wow...this finally made it to this site.

Thanks for arriving at the board. I was wondering on why Spain is still a nation 'sidering Aragon is cut off and it's pretty much trampled over with an iron boot. How long will it last before disappearing into different nations and territories of other countries?

And thanks for coming here. Will you be fixing the previous installments on your site with the squares being reformated back to " "?
Spain is still around because it is still recognised as a sovereign nation, just one which others want part of its territory. With what's left, it will probably be quite stable within its new borders, with the important exception of if a revanchist government gets in charge, but they're likely to realise the problems they will have if they try anything like that.

The display problems are the website are complicated, apparently it's something to do with the way the server represents character sets. There's a couple of things I can try, but at the moment I'm not sure how long before it's fixed. In the meantime, there is a rich text document (link on the main page in the website) which is up to date and much more readable.

Cheers,
Kaiser Wilhelm III
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Old December 1st, 2004, 12:16 PM
Straha Straha is offline
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well my draka ATL's america is bigger AND less nasty than DoD's America....
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  #9  
Old December 1st, 2004, 06:56 PM
Yossarian Yossarian is offline
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Calm down Straha, it's not like this is stopping us from reading your TL
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Old December 1st, 2004, 07:08 PM
Straha Straha is offline
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I am calm I'm merely staing similarities and differences! I think decades of darkness is a kickass TL..
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 12:02 AM
G.Bone G.Bone is offline
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Additional questions:

Is Istanbul (sp?) heavily fortified because of the newly annexed Kars?

Where is Kars?

Has Britian 'lost' it's movement for a racist regime in certain African realms due to the presence of a racist USA?

What has evolved in lieu of that?

Is there much migration )from those people that can escape) from the US to other areas (than Liberia)?

If the term 'jackals' have come to replace the connotation that 'American' has in TTL, what has become of 'American'?

Is the term New Englander still held or slurred over time? (it's sort of a clunker if you think about it)

How's Singapore doing?

Is the music mostly Classical in the world?
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Last edited by G.Bone; December 2nd, 2004 at 12:02 AM.. Reason: grammar
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 06:06 AM
Jared Jared is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Bone
Additional questions:

Is Istanbul (sp?) heavily fortified because of the newly annexed Kars?

Where is Kars?
Kars is on the other end of OTL Turkey, in the northeast near the Armenian border. It is just a further chunk the Russians like to take out, but has nothing to do with Istanbul/Constantinople, which will be heavily fortified again because it's just seen one siege and, well, the British and the Turks want to keep it.

Quote:
Has Britian 'lost' it's movement for a racist regime in certain African realms due to the presence of a racist USA?

What has evolved in lieu of that?
Racism in much of the rest of the world is weakened, but not removed entirely, because of the example of the *USA. In southern Africa, there are plenty of people who keep to racist views, but others who adopt a theory of "the white fathers" - a patronising and condescending view that the "natives" need to be helped toward civilisation. Offensive in its way, of course, but on the whole better than out-and-out racism.

Quote:
Is there much migration )from those people that can escape) from the US to other areas (than Liberia)?
A relative trickle, mostly to Canada and New England, and some by ship to the British Caribbean and thence to Europe.

Quote:
If the term 'jackals' have come to replace the connotation that 'American' has in TTL, what has become of 'American'?
American is still the polite term. "Jackal" is considered quite offensive. Something like referring to people from Great Britain as "limeys" or "poms".

Quote:
Is the term New Englander still held or slurred over time? (it's sort of a clunker if you think about it)
It depends on the speaker. It's no clunkier than OTL's New Zealander, which still gets used. What is likely is that, in many cases, it will be replaced by the grammatically incorrect but shortened "New England". Informally, "Yankee" or "Yank" are more common and not considered particularly offensive.

Quote:
How's Singapore doing?
Still British and one of their most important ports in Southeast Asia.

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Is the music mostly Classical in the world?
It varies considerably, but mostly more classical as of "the present day", i.e. the 1880s. This will change over time. The USA will see an unusual blend of *jazz and *blues with various kinds of Mexican music.

Cheers,
Kaiser Wilhelm III
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  #13  
Old December 2nd, 2004, 05:25 PM
Grimm Reaper Grimm Reaper is offline
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Ah, I return as promised. With some questions in hand.

1) Is it the official policy of the USA to export to Liberia all free blacks, or is it simply done more often than not?

It was not uncommon for a slave to be freed on his master's death, following some exceptional service, or simply to earn his freedom over a period. Such a law would certainly change things dramatically. It would also a massive effect in Africa, as the US had an estimated 500,000 'freedmen' in 1865. If even half that number arrived in Africa, I would foresee a formidable nation emerging in the 20th century.

2) Immigration. In reality, the great waves have not yet begun so the impact would not have been felt that strongly...yet, but I would suspect that the USA is never going to gain the benefits of this. Given that as late as the Mexican-American War in OTL the USA had a population less than 10% larger than Mexico, and now much of the north is gone, I would imagine the whites becoming a minority by 1900, if not sooner.

Also, is Canada receiving only immigration similar to OTL, plus the natural developments in the 'southern territories', or is some effort being made for strength through numbers. I noticed clearly that Australia is enjoying a dramatic increase in population, undoubtedly making for a more formidable power, and wondered what Canada is trying.

Likewise, has New England maintained the OTL status quo or should we expect dramatic changes in immigration patterns. After all, New England was consistently the most open to immigration, now has another reason for it, and the southern states can't vote to block it off.

3) The assumption of weakness. It would appear that the assumptions of New England military inferiority to the USA are a bit hasty. Assuming no other changes then New England plus Canada would have the equivalent of a quarter of the USA(OTL) as of 2004, in addition to Canada's own strength. It would appear to me that New England prior to conquest of Mexico would not have been at such a disadvantage, and would in fact have been growing in strength faster than the USA, save for the Mexican campaigns, which do tie down substantial American forces in their own right.

Around the period 1850-1850, New England would have been pulling ahead in terms of science, industry, shipbuilding, and railroads, while being outclassed by at most 2-1 in numbers. Given the British alliance, a disadvantage would certainly exist, but not helpless dread.

Can we expect growing alterations in technological developments? For instance, it was a British company that developed the first viable armored car in the late 1880s, and such an item, in quantity, could be an exceedingly nasty surprise at some point.

And do I read a thread suggesting that the USA's long-term situation may not be quite as promising as the current period?
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  #14  
Old December 2nd, 2004, 07:47 PM
Jared Jared is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimm Reaper
Ah, I return as promised. With some questions in hand.

1) Is it the official policy of the USA to export to Liberia all free blacks, or is it simply done more often than not?

It was not uncommon for a slave to be freed on his master's death, following some exceptional service, or simply to earn his freedom over a period. Such a law would certainly change things dramatically. It would also a massive effect in Africa, as the US had an estimated 500,000 'freedmen' in 1865. If even half that number arrived in Africa, I would foresee a formidable nation emerging in the 20th century.
Starting during the 1830s, a number of individual US states started to pass laws forbidding the freeing of slaves without them leaving the state in question. (There was a similar movement in OTL). The preferred option since then, although not legally required, was to send them "back to Africa", i.e. Liberia. The *USA had increasing paranoia about free "blacks", and eventually legally required all of them to leave the USA or be re-enslaved. Many of these ended up in Liberia, but some also went to New England and Canada. This created a large population in Liberia, later strengthened by many escapees from the former Spanish Caribbean. Somewhere on the order of 400-500,000 people, the start of quite a significant Liberian state.

Since the US constitutional amendment forbidding free "blacks" went through, only a relative handful of slaves have been freed, since this automatically requires that they be sent out of the USA. For those who are freed, they tend to be sent to Liberia over other destinations, but this is a preferred, not legally required, option.


Quote:
2) Immigration. In reality, the great waves have not yet begun so the impact would not have been felt that strongly...yet, but I would suspect that the USA is never going to gain the benefits of this. Given that as late as the Mexican-American War in OTL the USA had a population less than 10% larger than Mexico, and now much of the north is gone, I would imagine the whites becoming a minority by 1900, if not sooner.
In 1848, at the outbreak of the OTL Mexican-American War, the population was roughly USA 21 million, Mexico 7 million. This only increased in the USA's favour for the rest of the nineteenth century - Mexico and indeed most of Central America was actually relatively underpopulated until the twentieth century. Much of the USA's increase came from immigration, but the 19th century USA had an amazingly high birth rate: the population would have doubled from natural increase alone roughly every 25 years or so. The DoD USA's birth rate is similarly high, and if anything slightly higher because of the lack of immigration. The birth rate and life expectancy of former Mexicans and other areas will go up when the USA moves in - due to better public health, largely - but the USA is still likely to have a majority of "white" people until well after 1900. Although things are complicated because they tend to class the wealthier former Mexicans as "white", and so the line becomes a bit blurry.

Also, while immigration numbers were highest around the turn of the century in OTL, as a percentage of the population they were still significant earlier - about 5.5 million between 1850 and 1870, for instance. Some of this immigration will still end up in the USA, albeit lower than in OTL, and most of the immigrants will be "white".


Quote:
Also, is Canada receiving only immigration similar to OTL, plus the natural developments in the 'southern territories', or is some effort being made for strength through numbers. I noticed clearly that Australia is enjoying a dramatic increase in population, undoubtedly making for a more formidable power, and wondered what Canada is trying.

Likewise, has New England maintained the OTL status quo or should we expect dramatic changes in immigration patterns. After all, New England was consistently the most open to immigration, now has another reason for it, and the southern states can't vote to block it off.
Immigration to Canada is up as compared to OTL, and the Canadian population is correspondingly higher. New England has had greater immigration than in OTL too, but it's birth rate is starting to drop as it gets greater urbanisation. There is also a nativist sentiment (the Federalists), who sometimes discourage immigration for a few years. So higher population overall, but there are complicating factors.


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3) The assumption of weakness. It would appear that the assumptions of New England military inferiority to the USA are a bit hasty. Assuming no other changes then New England plus Canada would have the equivalent of a quarter of the USA(OTL) as of 2004, in addition to Canada's own strength. It would appear to me that New England prior to conquest of Mexico would not have been at such a disadvantage, and would in fact have been growing in strength faster than the USA, save for the Mexican campaigns, which do tie down substantial American forces in their own right.

Around the period 1850-1850, New England would have been pulling ahead in terms of science, industry, shipbuilding, and railroads, while being outclassed by at most 2-1 in numbers. Given the British alliance, a disadvantage would certainly exist, but not helpless dread.
Well, 2-1 numbers are the sort of thing which make people nervous, and the USA outnumbers the combination of Canada and New England and British North America by a little over 2-1. (The relevant figures in 1880 are U.S. population 44.8 million, New England plus Canada plus British North America 21.3 million). New England is industrialising faster than the USA when compared per head of population, but the USA also has a strong industrial base of its own. Shipbuilding is a more mixed area, but if it comes to war between the USA and New England, the main invasion forces won't be coming by sea.

Much of this is perception rather than reality, of course. The USA is very, very big, and has a massive population by comparison with New England alone. (About 3-1 odds if it's just New England versus the USA). The main worry is that the USA could overrun most of New England and Canada before sufficient British help can arrive. New England wouldn't necessarily seek to avoid war if it's forced on it, but declaring war on a larger opponent is the sort of thing that rational leaders tend to have some doubts about, even if they go ahead and do it.

In reality, of course, New England and Canada could probably put up a good defensive fight, particularly east of the Great Lakes, although western Canada would be lost. New England and Canada will have found some reassurance from the Second Napoleonic Wars, which demonstrated to the world how much easier defense is when you have machine guns and trenches. This doesn't translate exactly across the Atlantic - there's too much room and not enough people to run trench lines across all the New England-US and Canada-US borders - but they would find it more reassuring. But politics is often about perception rather than reality.


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Can we expect growing alterations in technological developments? For instance, it was a British company that developed the first viable armored car in the late 1880s, and such an item, in quantity, could be an exceedingly nasty surprise at some point.
There will be some technological changes. Some things happen earlier than OTL: naval technology is ahead, the use of steam cars has improved machining technology enough to boost the internal combustion engine when that comes along, and aerial technology will also be ahead of OTL. Some areas will be behind, however - it depends what aspect of technology you're looking at.


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And do I read a thread suggesting that the USA's long-term situation may not be quite as promising as the current period?
Over the very long-term, during the 1950s and onwards, yes, the USA's long-term situation will become more awkward, mostly due to internal pressures. They will remain competitive for the next couple of generations, however.

Cheers,
Kaiser Wilhelm III
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  #15  
Old December 2nd, 2004, 11:51 PM
G.Bone G.Bone is offline
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Thanks for answering my questions. Just some follow up:

1. How will jazz come about even though slavery is instutionalized?

2. Will the issue of lessening the racist policies come about due to economic strife?

3. Will the US (DoD) fall like South Africa did in OTL?

4. Has there been any attempts at defending Western Canada or is it simply the Great Lakes region?

5. Is there an exodus from the conquered lands of Northern Mexico into the islands that are not owned by the US in the Carribbean and thereon to other areas?

6. Is the New England coastline crawling with shipyards in order to account for their naval superiority in the Eastern Atlantic Coastline?

7. What happened to the former-Tories that migrated to the Maratime Provences? Do they have an issue being part of New England?

8. How's the New England protectorate in Latin America doing?

9. Will you be updating your map to show the changes from the Second Napoleonic War?
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  #16  
Old December 3rd, 2004, 12:41 AM
Jared Jared is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Bone
Thanks for answering my questions. Just some follow up:

1. How will jazz come about even though slavery is instutionalized?
It won't be exactly OTL jazz, but among the uses of slaves and other indentured labour is as entertainers. They can do very well for themselves that way, earning something close to freedom. Viz, their owner gets most of the money, but they get pocket money, lavish clothes, and so on.


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2. Will the issue of lessening the racist policies come about due to economic strife?
The big change will be when cotton-picking is mechanized, which will happen during the 1930s/1940s. This will shake the U.S. social system to its core. The other longer-term change is that freedom is always an option for serfs, debt-slaves, peons and so on, and over time more of them will earn the option. This will also produce considerable social changes in the USA.


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3. Will the US (DoD) fall like South Africa did in OTL?
The USA is still around c.1950. More long-term, this TL will serve as the background for a series of novels, which will show how the world is changing during the 1950s and onwards, including changes within the USA.


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4. Has there been any attempts at defending Western Canada or is it simply the Great Lakes region?
The defences aren't empty, but the bulk of the military force is aimed at defending where the majority of the population lives, i.e. Wisconsin and eastward.


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5. Is there an exodus from the conquered lands of Northern Mexico into the islands that are not owned by the US in the Carribbean and thereon to other areas?
A few leave, but not that many. Mostly because there's not that many places for them to go, and also because northern Mexico (the first wave of U.S. occupation) was treated much better than later areas, mostly because there was a lower concentration of population and thus the US felt less threatened by them. There will be a former Mexican component in places like Jamaica, but not a massive one.


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6. Is the New England coastline crawling with shipyards in order to account for their naval superiority in the Eastern Atlantic Coastline?
New York and Boston, in particular, are havens of naval construction just as in OTL. Not just military vessels, but a very large merchant marine. There is a lot of New England commercial shipping. However, New England doesn't have naval superiority in the Atlantic, not by 1880. The naval forces would be at near parity. However, if war is threatening there would be a Royal Navy squadron or two deployed there.


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7. What happened to the former-Tories that migrated to the Maratime Provences? Do they have an issue being part of New England?
Some do, but the common experience fighting alongside New England against the Americans for two major wars alleviated a lot of it. There are still some members of the population, particularly in New Brunswick, who'd prefer union with Canada instead, but they aren't a majority.


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8. How's the New England protectorate in Latin America doing?
Economically quite well; there's some New England investment there. Still vaguely worried about the possibility of invasion, which is why most of the locals tend to be armed to the teeth.


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9. Will you be updating your map to show the changes from the Second Napoleonic War?
Soon, but I get help designing the maps; I'm not the world's most artistic person.

Cheers,
Kaiser Wilhelm III
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  #17  
Old December 3rd, 2004, 02:31 PM
Grimm Reaper Grimm Reaper is offline
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Kaiser, anything I can do to help with the map upgrades? Drop me a line and I'll see what I can do.

You mentioned that technological developments are ahead in key military fields. It would appear to me that this might not be such a good thing for the USA. For one thing, I can easily imagine the RN delight at realizing what @50 armored cars might do to support a raiding force.

Actually, I belive the US had 16 million in 1846, when the war began.

Those immigration figures for 1850-1870 seem a bit off. I remember that OTL saw @800,000 during the ACW, and this was an increase from the 1850s, so that would be about 3-4 million, but perhaps Canada also saw a flow.
Of course, this would have heavily favored New England and Canada, as it seems unlikely that this USA is very inviting to immigrants.

I do get the impression that Canada, Australia, and New England may each wind up with 50-60 million people, so the British Commonwealth may have a lot more weight in the world.

No boll weevil coming soon?
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  #18  
Old December 5th, 2004, 08:26 AM
Jared Jared is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimm Reaper
You mentioned that technological developments are ahead in key military fields. It would appear to me that this might not be such a good thing for the USA. For one thing, I can easily imagine the RN delight at realizing what @50 armored cars might do to support a raiding force.
Technology isn't that far ahead ahead of OTL, usually only by 5 years or so at the moment. Armoured cars are of rather limited use until the engines get considerably better than OTL. They were used experimentally in OTL around the Boer War, if I remember right, but the engines here won't be that much better, and they're only of much use in rather open areas and/or where there's good roads. But more generally, the USA can build them too. I'm actually expecting the earlier development of aerial technology to make more of a difference. Even rudimentary biplanes make anti-guerrilla tactics a *lot* more effective.


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Actually, I belive the US had 16 million in 1846, when the war began.
The figures I used came from http://www.library.uu.nl/wesp/populstat/populhome.html

It's not always accurate to the nearest hundred thousand, which lists 21 million or so in 1847. But either way, the USA (even the reduced USA of the DoD TL) outnumbers the Mexicans by a significant number. More significantly, their tactics, artillery and military organisation were considerably ahead of the Mexican Army during the same period. (The Mexican soldiers were brave, but Santa Anna was a hopeless general and their military organisation was poor).


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Those immigration figures for 1850-1870 seem a bit off. I remember that OTL saw @800,000 during the ACW, and this was an increase from the 1850s, so that would be about 3-4 million, but perhaps Canada also saw a flow. Of course, this would have heavily favored New England and Canada, as it seems unlikely that this USA is very inviting to immigrants.
A breakdown of U.S immigration statistics is available here:

http://www.fairus.org/Research/Resea...%20and%20-1995

Turns out I had the figures a bit low: 2.6 million in 1851-1860, 2.3 million in 1861-1870. The total emigration would probably be slightly higher ATL as I suspect the ACW kept a few of those immigrants home, although TTL would also have seen more of the emigration directed to the rest of the British Empire.


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I do get the impression that Canada, Australia, and New England may each wind up with 50-60 million people, so the British Commonwealth may have a lot more weight in the world.
The only countries for which I have definite population figures in the 20th century (1952, to be precise) are Australia, Ireland and Sri Lanka (Ceylon ITTL): 53.7 million, 4.7 million, and 7.9 million, respectively. So, yes, that's the right ballpark for Australia, but most of Australia's population increase comes within the twentieth century; they get a lot of immigration then. Not so much during the 19th century, although still much larger than OTL.

For New England, I'd say something on the order of 50-60 million is possible, although I don't have the relevant OTL figures handy. (Basically, Michigan is higher than OTL, New York is lower, the OTL New England and Maritimes are higher than OTL). Canada would be somewhat smaller than New England, although much higher than the OTL figure of 14.5 million in 1952. They have Wisconsin, after all, and greater immigration, although this may mean that the demographic transition hits sooner too. 25 million at the minimum, 30-35 million is more likely. Although this is under the assumption that Canada still exists as an independent nation in 1952, for which there are no guarantees.


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No boll weevil coming soon?
The boll weevil has already put in an appearance - one reason the USA finally decided to clamp down on the slave trade from Africa was that slave prices were under pressure due to the depredations of the boll weevil. Southern agriculture is currently diversifying quite a bit due to some land being useless for cotton growth.

Cheers,
Kaiser Wilhelm III
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  #19  
Old December 5th, 2004, 09:51 AM
Jared Jared is offline
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Decades of Darkness #88: The Little Flower

“Your Imperial Majesty, if you could choose how you want the world to remember you, what words would you have them use?”
-- José Miguel Falabela, Brazilian Foreign Minister
“I just want to make sure that they do remember me. To be remembered is to be immortal.”
-- Maria Inês Isabel Catarina de Bragança e Bourbon, By the Grace of God and Unanimous Acclamation of the People, Constitutional Empress and Perpetual Defender of Brazil, replying to José Falabela


* * *

13 April 1869
New White House,
Columbia City, Federal District
United States of America

Spring in North America; cooler weather than Maria de Bragança e Bourbon was used to in Brazil, but pleasant enough in the treeborn shade of the New White House’s private gardens. Particularly pleasant in the company of Hugh Griffin, the energetic President of the United States, whom she knew must be nearly twice her twenty-four years, but who looked barely older than her.

“Why, Senhor Griffin, with the time you spend with me, so many of my countrymen will think you try to court me.” Her visit was part of a carefully-negotiated visit by a party of Brazilian dignitaries – carefully chosen ones, to ensure that none were of the Negro blood which so vexed the Americans – thanks to an invitation before Griffin formally became President. But Griffin had certainly spent longer speaking to her than to any of the other dignitaries.

Griffin smiled. But Doña Maria, charming as I find your company, I have a wife, and have no need for another.”

Maria sent a sideways glance at her aunt, comfortably seated a few steps away to act as chaperone. Maria might still be young, but she felt that she had been born understanding men and their wiles. For all that Griffin’s smile could make her heart beat faster, it had not clouded her notice. He had denied wanting to make her his wife, but he had not denied wanting her.

“Then, why have you talked with me so long?” She fluttered her eyebrows. “You have done all but hand me a rose from these wonderful gardens and say that it does not compare to me.”

Griffin said, “When I have “a pequena flor” [1] sitting next to me, what need have to reach for a rose?” Over her quiet giggle, he said, “If I may speak frankly, I enjoy more talking to the woman who will someday lead Brazil than those who currently advise her father.”

“Only if my father has no sons,” Maria said.

“Dom Pedro will have no more children now, I think,” Griffin said. “Ah, tea?” he added, as a servant arrived with a steaming pot and three mugs.

“I’ve never drunk tea,” Maria admitted, as her aunt stepped closer to claim a mug. Griffin poured for her first, and then Aunt Isabella withdrew again.

“Georgia’s finest, from St. Catherine’s Island” Griffin said. “Even better than South Carolina tea, I think.”

Maria sipped the tea slightly. Bland compared to coffee, she thought, but it had a charm of its own.

Griffin sipped his own with evident relish, then grinned as he took in her expression. “Next time, I’ll make sure Jerome brings some good Brazilian coffee.”

Maria smiled. “It would be a taste of home.” She had enjoyed most of her time in the United States, but in some things, she missed the sights, smells and tastes of the lands of the Southern Cross.

Griffin said, “More than just a taste, I thought. A reminder of what has made Brazil great. Coffee has been a boon to your country much as cotton is to mine.” [2]

“But Brazil makes much more than coffee,” Maria said defensively.

Griffin said, “And the United States makes much more than cotton. But it is the wealth of cotton which has enabled my country to develop and diversify, much as coffee has done for you. Something to consider.”

“In what way?” Maria said. She found Griffin’s discussion of politics and economics – and the fact that he was treating her mind seriously – far more impressive than his earlier polished but vacuous charm. She had seen no shortage of men eager to flatter the future Empress of Brazil; men who engaged her mind were a much rarer breed.

“Coffee and the institutions which make it profitable remain the core of Brazils’s wealth – and cotton for the United States – and that any changes to those institutions... would weaken our countries.”

“Any changes to slavery, you mean,” Maria said, naming the word which Griffin, like most Americans, avoided using. The landowners, the Church, and the military remained the three blocs of power in Brazil, despite the unrest of the people. Her father trode warily around the Church, and any changes to the slave laws would bring down the wrath of the fazendeiros. Fortunately, the military was loyal. Mostly.

“Yes. And that it serves both our nations to have a friend in the other. It has helped us in the past, and will do so again.”

Maria nodded. It had been around the time of her birth when the British had threatened to seize Brazil’s ships in her own waters, and enter Brazil’s ports to prevent the Empire from carrying out its own commerce. Vociferous American protests had largely ended those actions. The slave trade had been largely ended since that time, due to the British actions off the African coast and the exorbitant prices charged by slave importers, but that time of Brazilian weakness against Britain had never been forgotten. “And you hope that the Brazilian visit here will strengthen that friendship.”

Griffin said, “If I may, I hope that friendship between you and I may be part of that strengthening.”

Now Maria did smile, not invitingly enough to encourage his other attention, but still friendly. “So do I.”

* * *

3 August 1877
Rio de Janeiro
Empire of Brazil

Theoretically, Maria de Bragança e Bourbon, Princess of Brazil, had no authority to comment on foreign policy. But then, in theory, her father the Emperor Dom Pedro II [3] had little internal authority as a monarch, only moderating power between the branches of government. He did have power to make treaties and over other foreign affairs, and Maria dearly wanted him to listen to her about those matters.

“Now that the Venezuelans have signed a pact with the Colombians and the British, we must walk away from our territory which they claim?” Maria asked.

Dom Pedro nodded. “Our little argument with Venezuela, which we have not yet turned into a formal war, needs to halt. Unless we want to fight the British Empire.”

“We must stop thanks to the British?” Maria said.

“We must,” Dom Pedro said. Her father looked wearily older with every passing month, it seemed to her. “Even the United States treads warily around the British. They rule the greatest empire the world has ever seen.”

Maria wanted to argue further, but she knew when not to press her luck. This would be another reason to blame the British; another moment of Brazilian weakness which would need to be avenged in good time. Brazil needed to be strong; it needed to have its own growth. The British wanted to stop that. Well, Brazil could not stand against them for now. But someday...

“Even if there is no war, we should honour the soldiers who fought in it,” Maria said. “They will be bitter that we must stop at all, but bitterer still if they receive no recognition.”

Her father said, “Yes, of course. Our officers shall be admitted to the Imperial Order of the Southern Cross.”

“Not just our soldiers,” Maria said. “The Americans have been of great help. Especially their Jaguars and their brave captain. They should be rewarded too, with the highest honour.”

“Few foreign soldiers have been granted that honour,” Dom Pedro said warily.

“Some things should be done,” Maria said. “The Americans are our only firm allies, anywhere in the world. And their Jaguars were true heroes.”

“The Jaguars, or one Jaguar in particular?” Dom Pedro asked.

Maria kept her expression bland. “All of them, but the highest honour should go to their leader.”

Eventually, the Emperor nodded. “Captain James Fisher will become a Knight Grand Cross of the Southern Cross.” He chuckled. “And while that will rank him, among us, as a lieutenant-general, he will only count as a captain to the Americans.”

* * *

Excerpts from “A Jaguar’s Life: An Autobiography”
(c) 1894 By Captain James Fisher (ret.)
Conrad Publishing Company: Baton Rogue.

The Brazilians we fought with in the Pequeno Argumento were as brave as any soldiers I’ve fought with, but before long I wondered why were ever in that war. Supply was devilishly difficult, the land nothing but endless miles of jungle and river. Jungles are the perfect haunt for a Jaguar, but it helps to have a real enemy to target. In the Yucatan and Cuba, the Jaguars fought enemies who lived in the jungle. Here, all the Venezuelan cities worth mentioning were far to the north, and we were never going to push that far in an unofficial war.

Instead, the Venezuelans came south to their border to fight us. We killed a lot of them, more than we lost, but it was clear very soon that this war was being fought only for pride. If Dom Pedro wanted to declare war on Venezuela and launch a full war, that was one thing. But he couldn’t or wouldn’t do that. The Brazilians learned how to fight in jungles, though, and that’s always a useful skill to have. It honed the Jaguars’ skills too...

The whole argument ended fast when word filtered through from Rio that the Venezuelans had signed a defensive pact with the British. And the Colombians too, which I found a bigger surprise. I wouldn’t have expected Venezuela and Colombia to agree on anything. But I thought then, and I’m even surer now, that the British made a big mistake. They should have arranged a commission or something to settle the border claims with Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, and their own colony in Guyana. Their error.

With the news, we were whisked back to Rio de Janeiro, where I was fortunate enough to renew my acquaintance with Doña Maria. I was sure that the Brazilians were lucky to have her as heir to the throne. She showed a strong understanding of the challenges facing her country, both from within and without, and was always witty and charming company. I’m also sure that she was the one who arranged for many of the Jaguars to receive Brazilians medals for their service, even if she didn’t realise what that would mean. The Imperial Order of the Southern Cross could be considered as a title of nobility, and even it was classed as an office from a foreign power, that required congressional approval. It could have caused quite a storm, but fortunately President Leland quietly arranged for Congress to grant approval, setting the precedent of classing all military medals as honorary awards, not as formal titles of nobility...

* * *

15 February 1884,
Rêo de la Plata, Montevideo
Eastern Republic of Uruguay

The Riachuelo, one of Brazil’s newest and greatest ships-of-the-line, cut a dark looming shape against the twilight and the first emerging stars. Miguel Rodrigues only spared the ship one backward glance as he hurried off into the night, toward the room where a certain woman eagerly awaited his arrival. Strictly speaking, he was not yet allowed from the ship, but his absence would only be winked at provided he was back by morning. He had been very glad when the voyage to Montevideo had been announced, part of a goodwill visit to Uruguay, Argentina and Chile to honour the coronation of the new Empress.

A sound like a dozen thunderclaps at once rung his ears, and he instinctively ducked to the ground. Could it be? He turned around, and exclaimed, “Mãe do deus!” as he crossed himself. Waves of fire leapt around the forward part of the Riachuelo. He started running back toward the ship, knowing even as he did so that he was too late to do anything about it...

* * *

Taken from: “Without a Trace: A New Investigation of Nine Lost Ships and Their Fates”
(c) 1951 by Dr. Harris Johnson
Jefferson Davis University Press
Puerto Veracruz, Veracruz State
United States of America

Chapter 3: SNM Riachuelo

The fate of the Brazilian battleship SNM Riachuelo is one of the most contentious disasters in naval history. The basic facts are easily recited: the ship suffered a massive explosion while in Montevideo Harbour on 15 February 1884, as part of a naval tour of South America. The ship broke up and sank rapidly, leaving 314 sailors dead. A Brazilian naval court of inquiry placed the blame on a mine (or torpedo, as they were then called), provoking the inevitable response from the Brazilian government. But it is far from clear that a mine could have caused the explosion...

The salvage of the Riachuelo in 1924 so that it could be sunk with fully military honours, yielded less insight than might have been hoped. The forward third of the ship was so badly damaged by the explosion and forty years underwater that no further analysis was practical. However, it did confirm that the explosion, whatever its cause, had been an internal one, but most investigators had already determined that a mine could not have been the cause...

Without clear evidence, no final answer can be given, but there remains the question of motive. What possible reason could Uruguay have for sinking a Brazilian battleship? Relations with Brazil had been cool before the incident, but hardly hostile. Uruguay had in any event managed its independence only by a delicate balance between Brazil and Argentina, which both of the larger powers had attempted to end at one time or another. It is difficult to see Uruguay arranging any sabotage.

Suspicion naturally fell on Brazil itself. The destruction of the Riachuelo was fortuitous in its timing for the Brazilian military, some of whom have been documented as wanting to reconquer Uruguay [4], and an obvious causus belli. But it is difficult to see why it would have been timed to kill so many Brazilian sailors. Sabotage could easily have been arranged during shore leave, or at least daylight, which would have meant both fewer prying eyes, and much reduced loss of life. The destruction of the Riachuelo itself offered reason for declaration of war; killing so many of their own sailors would have required a particularly bloodthirsty and callous action by the Brazilian Navy, and there is no evidence to support such a thesis.

If sabotage is to be blamed, the more likely culprit is Argentina. There were indications that the government of Domingo Martinez sought to acquire Uruguay, and knew that this would inevitably involve war with Brazil. In this case, would it not be better to work in alliance with Uruguay, which could then later be converted to defensive occupation? Moreover, by provoking Brazil to declare war on its own, there would be no automatic invocation of the American alliance, and the Argentines may well have thought that a United States still engulfed in struggle in Mexico would be unwilling to support an aggressive war by Brazil. Finally, the loss of one of Brazil’s newest battleships would also strengthen the position of the Argentine Navy to defend Uruguay.

However, while it is possible that the sinking of Riachuelo may have been an act of sabotage, the most likely cause is a genuine accident. A coal bunker fire remains the most reasonable explanation...

* * *

25 April 1884
Rio de Janeiro
Empire of Brazil

With relish, Empress Maria signed the declaration of war with Uruguay. “We will not just punish Uruguay, we shall conquer them. This was once our province, stolen from us in a moment of weakness, and now they have started a new war with us.”

This was a good time for other reasons, which she would never state publicly, but which were just as vital. The British were at war. This time, they could not interfere with Brazil’s right. More importantly, the Brazilian military grew restless again. They could not be allowed to grow idle, or the delicate balancing act that was the rule of the Brazilian monarchy would tip alarmingly.

How would Captain Fisher have put it? The Prince Consort was a wonderful man, and there were no shortage of other helpful advisors within Brazil, but Maria often found herself missing Fisher’s acerbic but forceful insight. Ah, yes, she knew what he would have said. “Now is the time of truth.”

* * *

[1] Portuguese for “the little flower”.

[2] The Brazilian coffee boom started earlier ITTL, in part due to U.S. investment in railways which improved the transportation networks.

[3] This is not the Dom Pedro II of OTL, but an ATL “brother” who has a distinctly different character.

* * *

Thoughts?

Kaiser Wilhelm III
http://alternatehistory.com/decadesofdarkness/
http://decadesofdarkness.blogspot.com/
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Old December 5th, 2004, 10:01 AM
G.Bone G.Bone is offline
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Good narration although I was finding it surprising that the American entry was'nt overtly pro-Brazilian.

Umm...with Dom Pedro on the throne, does this mean that the link between them and Portugal is still there or is it weakening?

How did Dom Pedro die?

What does the SNM in SNM Riachuelo mean?
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