A More Perfect Union: An Alternate History of the Land of the Free

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by HeX, May 22, 2019.

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  1. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Good to see people enjoying the TL!

    There is indeed one president who breaks the two-term rule, but I won't say who. There are quite a few one-term presidents ITTL due to greater sectional tensions (especially as abolitionism flares up in the North), and at least one president dies in office before Churchill comes to power. It all evens out to fit with him being the 26th president, though.

    Hamilton might have been an elitist, but he sure hated slavery. With the Federalists keeping him as their figurehead even with him leaving politics after his presidency, the party will be given a push in the direction of abolition early on.

    Sadly, Louisiana is still a slave state, but it's more lax on its laws than one might think. It's got a lot to do with a steadily growing population of free blacks in New Orleans.

    I'd say Cuba's a bit unlikely, but not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Spain was fighting the war with a hand behind its back and blinders over their eyes, as they attempted to quell revolution in South America and to reestablish themselves after being occupied by Napoleon for so long. Had the US gone after Cuba before the Peninsular War or after the Latin American Revolutions, they would have certainly lost. But America struck at just the right time.

    When slavery is eventually abolished in totality in 1839, there won't just be a glass ceiling, but a solid, two-feet-thick steel ceiling. However the Navy will be largely unsegregated as per OTL, and the Army will be more open to black soldiers and even officers due to their bigger roles in three defining wars early in US history.
     
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  2. Unknown Member

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    If you want ideas for how the US and the world at large might develop, PM the following people: @Jonathan Edelstein, @Al-numbers, and @Red_Galiray (they've done some good TLs about this era)...

    And, also, @manitobot and @NK_Ryzov; while their TL isn't perfect, it does have some interesting ideas:

    BTW, here's a link to Malê Rising by @Jonathan Edelstein: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malê-rising.226788/ and a link that shows all the chapters of Malê Rising: https://www.alternatehistory.com/wiki/doku.php?id=timelines:list_of_male_rising_posts

    Here's a link to Of Rajah and Hornbills, by @Al-numbers: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/of-rajahs-and-hornbills-a-timeline.311331/

    Here's a link to @Red_Galiray's South American TL: https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...ino-américa-fuerte-a-gran-colombia-tl.381533/

    And, finally, here's a link to @manitobot and @NK_Ryzov's United Americas TL (which, interestingly enough, has the same subtitle as your TL; it's a coincidence, I'm sure): https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...-americas-a-more-perfect-union-thread.467063/

    Waiting for more, of course...
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
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  3. Unknown Member

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    Just waiting for more, @HeX (when you have the time, of course)…
     
  4. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    I'm working on a South American-centered update, but I've got finals and another timeline and all, so this one's taking a bit of a back seat for now.
     
  5. Unknown Member

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    That I understand, @HeX; just take your time...

    BTW, good luck on your finals...
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  6. Threadmarks: Manifest Destiny, Part Three: ¡Viva a República do Brasil!

    HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    The partial collapse of the Spanish Empire led to a virtual panic attack on the part of European powers that still held territories in the Western Hemisphere. While Britain wasn't worried about losing their grip on Canada, they tightened their leash on Bermuda, the Bahamas, and other Caribbean and Central American lands. Similarly, Russia responded by sending increasing waves of settlers to Alyeska, throughly Russifying the culture there (though not doing much to affect the colony's productivity in the long run).

    It was Portugal who was the most worried. The temporary exile of their royal family to Brazil during the Peninsular War had seemingly cut off all possibility of displeasure with the current reigime, as the king had then elevated the colony to an equal status with the mainland and the Algarevs. But while the south centered around Rio de Janeiro continued to support the monarchy, further north, conflict was brewing.

    Separated geographically from the more prosperous southern territories, Brazilians in the north had become worse off when the monarchy came traipsing in. They were expected to increase their workloads to better serve the king, but never got the same benefits the south did due to their separation. In addition, the reorganized military King John VI had brought with him from Portugal hadn't made matters any better, by both reserving the highest military titles for Portuguese nobility, and by raising taxes significantly but simultaneously forcing Brazil to maintain the military endeavors of the Portuguese, even when the family returned to Lisbon. Tensions were high, but the straw that broke the camel's back was the 1816-1817 famine. It was already difficult to keep up with growing enough crops to pay off the astronomically high taxes, but with sugar and cotton crops dropping, the task became impossible. In and around Recife, Pernambuco, the cry for resolution to their issues was sounded.

    [​IMG]
    The Beginnings of the Brazilian Revolution in Recife, Pernambuco

    Revolt hit the north like a tidal wave, quickly exploding from Pernambuco to the provinces of Ceará, Paraíba, and Rio Grande do Norte. Attempts to stifle the rebellion by surrounding Recife were halted when a portion of the Brazilian Army and Navy mutinied and declared their allegiance to the Pernambucan cause, shattering the blockade right then and there.

    While initially a mere protest, as more and more battles between militias and Portuguese colonial forces broke out, the people felt it was time to find out exactly what they were fighting for. Every possible scenario was thrown about. Was it for greater recognition from the monarchy? Lower taxes? More popular representation? Debates raged alongside the fighting, and all politics had come to a standstill. That is, until the Battle of Salvador.

    The Battle of Salvador, better known as the Salvadorian Massacre, occurred on October 15, 1819. There, rebel troops outnumbered three-to-one attempted to defend a hastily constructed fort on the outskirts of Salvador, one of Brazil's largest cities and home to a substantial rebellious movement. During the battle, over five hundred rebels and a dozen civilians taking refuge in the fort were killed at the hands of the Portuguese Army. This was not taken well by any part of Brazil, but the northeast became the most energized. Immediately in its aftermath, the massacre became a rallying cry to take up arms against the Portuguese oppressors and southern royalists. Then, on April 22, 1820, after much deliberation, a provisional congress in Recife declared Brazilian independence from Portugal, under a republican government.

    [​IMG]
    Rebel Flag for the Republic of Brazil

    The United States of America--who had just signed the Treaty of London to end the Spanish-American War--immediately caught wind of this. In fact, they were among the nations that the Republic of Brazil requested support from, alongside Britain, the Netherlands, and Argentina. President James Madison refused to explicitly enter into what would be the third war against a European empire within a decade, though he promised to send material aid, and to recognize the Republic as the true Brazilian government. Many American volunteers shipped off as well, including Canadian and Spanish-American War veteran officers John Floyd and Alexander Smyth. These Americans were not sanctioned by the government, and gave new life to the term 'filibuster', as they and countless freedom-loving Americans (the vast majority being Northerners) arrived in Pernambuco to fight the royalists. Argentina also sent military and material aid, though they were largely focused on their own battles, and Britain remained neutral so as not to upset either party.

    After two years of fruitless struggle, the Brazilians, with their newfound allies and something worth fighting for, finally began to win their battles. Fighting in Caxias, Maceió, and along the Gurupi River all resulted in Brazilian victory, as did many more conflicts. The second Siege of Recife came in December 1820, and lasted for a week-and-a-half, though the Portuguese were eventually repulsed.

    By the time spring of 1821 rolled around, the Brazilians were tired of playing the defensive. Using the advice of experienced American and Argentinian officers, General José de Barros Lima--better known as the Crowned Lion--planned a feint to the northwest, appearing as though the rebels were attempting to capture São Luís, a city that had evaded their grasp since the revolution's genesis. While the Portuguese focused on stopping the rebels there, Lima would lead the charge to capture the key city of Rio de Janeiro.

    The plan worked beautifully. When Lima arrived at Rio de Janeiro on July 9, instead of facing a force that would have outnumbered his own four-to-one, half of Rio's Portuguese and royalist soldiers had been sent north. This meant Lima was merely outnumbered two-to-one. For a month, Rio held out. The royal family, who had been planning on returning to Portugal proper as the Liberal Revolution concluded in Iberia, was terrified of their fate. On August 11, 1821, King João VI surrendered the city, which had been decimated and was lacking food. Some hostilities continued, but overall the people of Brazil saw the victory as the final nail in the coffin for Portuguese presence in their nation.

    [​IMG]
    Brazilian Victory Parade in Rio de Janeiro, August 11, 1821. General José de Barros Lima is pictured astride the horse in the center.

    The rebels held all the cards in their hand. The royal family was under their lock-and-key, Rio de Janeiro was in their control, and a majority of the Brazilians--a small majority, but a majority nonetheless--supported the republican cause. Britain threw its weight around last minute, and advocated for Portugal to let free Brazil. Humiliated, the king agreed. A month later, at the Treaty of Philadelphia, the Republic of Brazil was officially founded. Meanwhile, Portugal pulled out of the colony proper, only keeping control of Cisplatina Province, which wasn't keen on either nation controlling them and preferred independence, though it was extremely unlikely King João VI would be willing to sacrifice another part of his transcontinental united kingdom.

    In the end, it was decided that all of Brazil would be freed from Portuguese rule under a republican form of government, sans the Cisplatina Province, which would remain a part of Portugal and be ruled over by Prince Regent Dom Pedro IV. Initially, there were problems with the fact that the people living in Cisplatina were fiercely independent and desired to form their own nation. However, the ensuing flood of royalist Brazilians to the province ensured the land would remain under Portuguese control for the forseeable future.

    Brazil immediately began to grow close to the United States. During the drafting of their constitution, Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams all spent time in the provisional capital of Recife and provided guidance and ideas to craft a strong, working republic. Soon, the United States and Republic of Brazil would be seen as joined at the hip on the world stage, as close as allies could be, the designated protectors of liberty and justice in the Western Hemisphere. And they were just getting started.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019 at 3:09 PM
  7. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    It's back! Sorry for the wait, real life got in the way and it probably will again soon, but I managed to get this Brazil-centric update out. I'm not the most knowledgeable about colonial Brazil, outside of a basic understanding of the Pernambucan Revolt and their actual war of independence, so I apologize for any inconsistencies/unrealistic events. If there's something really ASB, let me know and I'll find a workaround.
     
  8. Worffan101 Ain't done nothing if I ain't been called a Red

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    Oh, this is cool!

    Brazil is unlikely to have as meteoric a rise as the USA, but US alliance and long-term friendship will prevent the military dictatorship/instability cycle. The slavery debate will hit both nations soon, too.
     
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  9. Odinson "With me, Professor Foxtrot!"

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    "Brazil, f@#% yeah!"
    In all seriousness, it's interesting to see American forming alliances this early on in her history.
     
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  10. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Yep. There'll be a lot of hypocrisy to be had with the two nations that advocate for freedom the most ITTL having huge amounts of slaves.

    That's a result of Hamilton's presidency and the Federalists remaining a big political force. They were all for a permanent Anglo-American alliance, but since the Canadian War that hasn't been an option. So they're branching out. Plus, after winning two wars with major European empires and playing a big hand in a third, James Madison and the US are feeling mighty confident in themselves. As a result, Washingtonian isolationism won't be as huge a force ITTL.
     
  11. alpal2214 Well-Known Member

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    Nice TL HeX! I like the mix of standard writing and the Laughin' Place style. Great job so far!

    So, questions:

    The Hamilton-Burr Duel is replaced by the Pinkley-Burr Duel, correct?

    Are the 11th and 12th amendments what they were supposed to be in the original Bill of Rights?

    Nice job, and I can't wait to see what else happens!
     
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  12. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Thanks! I'm trying to balance time between both TLs and real life, so there might be some dry spells in one or the other but hopefully I'll keep up.

    Yessir, the Hamilton/Burr Duel is replaced by the Pinckney/Burr Duel. It has a similar effect on Burr's political career, ensuring he'll never capture a vote again. He fled to Canada and is residing in London these days, to escape his infamy.

    Yep, the Constitution and Amendments 1-12 are all the same. 13 (passed in 1812) does not end slavery ITTL though, and instead delineates the line of presidential succession in the Executive Branch.
     
  13. Threadmarks: Manifest Destiny, Part Four: An Era of Bad Feelings

    HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Slavery. Even in the South, the 'peculiar institution' that had so defined political divide and conflict in the United States wasn't exactly loved, but for decades the practice had been seen as a necessary evil, the only way to keep the Southern economy alive. But now, it was an institution in decline.

    Picking cotton was a laborious task. Aside from the backbreaking labor of slaves out in the sun all day, once the cotton itself was removed from the plant, the seeds twisted up with the fibers needed to be removed. It was work that was extremely intensive and time-consuming, requiring a fine eye and deft hands. All across the Upper South, slaveholders and plantation owners were beginning to realize it was far too much trouble than it was worth, and many began to slowly but surely free their slaves. The places where it was really entrenched--South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, West Florida, Louisiana, and increasingly so in the Texas Territory--had gone a different route, and instead began shifting towards growing new cash crops like tobacco, rice, sugar cane, and indigo, though these still needed less slaves than growing cotton.

    Nevertheless, Missouri desired to be admitted to the Union as a slave state. And naturally, the Federalists went ballistic at such a notion. But, much to the surprise of the Deep South, the Upper South agreed.

    Restrictionists had much more solid arguments than the Antirestrictionists (who merely repeated their mantra of 'states' rights' over and over again). Firstly, they pointed to the Declaration of Independence. Not only did it have the explicitly egalitarian statement of 'all men are created equal' printed in its first line, its longest passage was one that decried slavery. That was a hard point to argue against, and the explicit anti-slavery nature of the Declaration was what most likely swayed Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky--states that had already begun gradual emancipation to some effect.

    Of course, the Restrictionists had more than one leg to stand on. The Northeast took issue with the Three-Fifths Compromise, which they stated stole influence from them, as well as disagreeing with tipping the scales of power in Congress that were perfectly balanced between free states and slave states. Meanwhile, the Upper South spat the Antirestrictionists' argument of states' rights in their face, and instead put forth the idea that the federal government should have no hand at all in the expansion of slavery.

    [​IMG]
    Senator Henry Clay, holding the attention of all of Congress in his speech favoring the Tallmadge Proposal

    Even so, Congress was at a deadlock. The Democratic-Republicans couldn't get enough support to grant Missouri statehood with slavery intact. Likewise, the Federalists couldn't strike down the proposal, nor change the minds of Missouri's inhabitants. The issue was at a stalemate, and remained so for months. It wouldn't be until DeWitt Clinton, staunch Hamiltonian and governor of New York, convinced Congressman James Tallmadge Jr. to write the 'Tallmadge Proposal'.

    The proposal managed to appease both sides. Missouri would be admitted as a slave state, and Maine would be admitted alongside it as a free state. After that, all territories south of the line 36' 30° would have the chance to vote on being admitted a slave state or a free state. Prospective states north of that line--which weren't suited for plantation lifestyles, anyways--would all be admitted as free. Surprisingly, everyone agreed. The Deep South knew it would be very simple to flood Arkansas, Texas, and East Florida with slaveholders. The Upper South was content in knowing that slavery would not die right then and there. And the North was enthralled by the idea that, one day, when the United States conquered Canada, it would be assuredly free of the South's 'peculiar institution'.

    The Missouri Compromise passed through both houses of Congress, and was signed into law by President Madison on February 5, 1820. Little did they know that it would lead to one of the bloodiest periods of American history, as the battle for emancipation began its rise to prominence…

    --------------------------------
    January 7, 1820

    General Andrew Jackson folded up an old edition of the New-York Gazette and tossed it across the table he shared with fellow military leader William Henry Harrison.

    "What's Washington up in flames over these days?" asked Harrison, flipping through the paper.

    Jackson just sighed. "Missourian statehood. Can't decide if it should enter as a free state or a slave state, and Congress is in a deadlock."

    Harrison raised his eyebrows. "Deadlock? I thought they'd have whipped out a few pistols and made those two hotheaded senators duel over it... what're their names?"

    "You mean Henry Clay and John Calhoun?"

    "Yes! Those two! Those two exactly. I say make 'em duel. Maybe they'll fare better than Burr and Pinckney did."

    "Dueling's illegal, Bill."

    Harrison snickered. "You go look yourself in a mirror and say that. You've got so many bullets in you, you probably rattle when you walk! And I know they're not from combat, you've never gotten hit when I've seen you commanding the troops."

    "Guilty as charged," Jackson replied, holding up his hands.

    The two men gazed down from their spot atop Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, overlooking the Canal de Entrada and the city of Habana proper. A warm tropical breeze swept across Andrew Jackson's visage, as he watched a plume of smoke rise high into the skies. The slave revolt was still going on, even after the Spaniards had pulled out. He didn't think Cuba could ever become a slave state at this point.

    "I can't believe them. We're down here fighting for our lives and the good of the nation, and they're debating over some petty squabbles! The war hasn't been over for a week yet, and they're still focusing on Missouri and Maine and on and on and on..."

    Harrison nodded.

    Andrew Jackson squinted into the morning sun. "I'm telling you, Bill, when I become president, things are going to change. For the better. And forever."


    --------------------------------
    April 17, 1820

    Eli Whitney sat on the porch of what one could only describe as his New York mansion. For the past few decades, he'd been all over New England and the Northeast, bouncing between New York, New Haven, and Boston, at the personal request of former President Alexander Hamilton. When the two had met in 1792, Hamilton was a rising star within the Federalist Party, serving as Washington's Secretary of the Treasury, while Whitney was a struggling student fresh out of law school and merely looking for a place to find his next meal. The men had gotten to talking, and Hamilton soon discovered Whitney didn't just have a passion for law, but invention, too.

    Specifically, Whitney was fascinated with the growing usage of interchangeable parts in Great Britain and the rest of Europe in manufacturing. He'd also mentioned an idea in passing that would allow cotton to be de-seeded more quickly, but Hamilton had immediately swept it to the side. Interchangeable parts were much more important.

    Eli Whitney became the shining star of New England pretty soon after that. Mills and factories picked up on his ideas, and soon the region was facing prosperity like never before. As was Whitney. Come the European Wars--the new encompassing nickname for the Canadian and Spanish-American Wars--and the Brazilian Revolution, and weapons manufacturing was off the charts.

    Eli Whitney reclined in his rocking chair, sipping his coffee. As he looked out over the Hudson River, he pondered what could have been. If he had gone south, instead of north, and maybe invented the 'cotton engine' instead. Then he pushed those thoughts from his mind. He was done inventing. For good.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019 at 3:09 PM
  14. Worffan101 Ain't done nothing if I ain't been called a Red

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    This more than anything else will doom slavery. With the cotton gin's invention delayed, slavery will become uneconomical just long enough that the South will have to get unhooked. Which averts the fire-breathers, and the metastasizing crisis of the 1850s in general.
     
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  15. Unknown Member

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    I like the Andrew Jackson of TTL better than OTL (even those who think he did good things OTL admit that he was a horrible person); he's the same Ol' Hickory, but different in some of his opinions as opposed to OTL...

    Oh, no cotton gin will doom slavery; it's only a matter of time...

    This will be nominated for a Turtledove come Turtledove Awards time, and waiting for more...
     
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  16. Beta.003 Despacito

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    That was an awesome update!

    While the Missouri Compromise goes as OTL, it's great to see that slavery is going to meet it's end earlier. Those bits with Andrew Jackson and Eli Whitney were also really cool!

    You find that perfect balance between plausibility and events that are interesting/fun/cool to read about. Keep up the good work!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  17. Unknown Member

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    And to those who think that Winston Churchill couldn't become a president in the US--Barack Obama, the most recent ex-president, had a Kenyan father and American mother (Hawaii had become a US state two years before Obama's birth; even if it were a territory, IIRC, Obama still qualified, regardless of what the Birthers think) and lived in the US for most of his life, so it is plausible...
     
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  18. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Technically--and this difference is rather important--the Missouri Compromise of TTL is different in one regard. Instead of all but guaranteeing the lands south of the line 36' 30° becoming slave states, now it's up to the settlers there to decide. So, in effect, that's the Kansas-Nebraska Act come to life thirty years early, and you can bet Northern states will be flooding the Southern territories with settlers to swing them their way. It's Bleeding Arkansas...

    Thanks! That's exactly what I think every AH writer is striving to achieve. Good to know I've gotten there.

    All that's true. In fact, since being a 'natural-born citizen' of the US amounts to having one parent a US citizen (doesn't even matter where you're born), Churchill could have run for president IOTL, if he really wanted to try.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  19. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Not really. OTL Churchill do not meet the requirements for the American citizenship of his time as American birthright citizenship for children of married American mothers and foreign fathers who were not born in the US was established only in 1940. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthright_citizenship_in_the_United_States
     
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  20. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Huh, guess Google steered me wrong. Oh well.
     
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