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. Rosa Luxemburg Homosatanist

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    The 14th amendment says that anyone born in the US is a citizen. That was 1868
     
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  2. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    No, what they meant was that Winston Churchill, being born in the UK IOTL, couldn't become president in 1940, since the law allowing people born to US citizens outside of the US being considered natural-born citizens wasn't passed until after.
     
  3. Threadmarks: Manifest Destiny, Part Five: A Bleeding, Beating Heart

    HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    (Disclaimer: People in ye olden days said a lot of bad stuff about other people. Just let it be known that I do not agree with any of the racist/sexist/xenophobic/generally nasty things some characters may say.)

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    August 12, 1822

    Anthony Williams popped his head out from behind an outhouse, scanning the environment for any signs of movement. His lip curled as he zeroed in on a target, stumbling through the woods with all the grace of a bull in a China shop. Probably just a deer, but one could never be too sure. He raised his rifle, and let a musket ball fly.

    The sphere of pounded metal found its target, and the man whose neck it tore a hole through collapsed to the forest floor, gurgling, blood spilling everywhere.

    "Damned Yanks!" spat Williams, gnawing off another hunk of chewing tobacco. "Thinkin' they can just waltz in here and take mah homestead... damned nigger-lovers ain't gonna spread the Northern disease into Arkansas! Not like they're doin' to Maryland and Virginia and Kentucky..."

    The farmer emptied his pockets, and began the laborious task of reloading his gun. It took about a minute of careful work, if one was fast about it. And Anthony Williams certainly was fast. His Brown Bess had been his closest companion for the better part of forty years. He'd fought in the Revolution down in the Carolina marshes under the command of the Swamp Fox. He'd been there at Fort Mimms when the Redskins had shown their cards as the Readcoats' ally. It was only when he joined up to fight the Spaniards in Cuba that he'd been issued a shiny new Springfield. After that, ol' Bessie had sat on the mantelpiece, a keepsake of days gone by. He never thought he'd ever have to pull her down from the shelf again.

    But now, thought Williams, now that we're under attack by the Yanks, we need all the guns we can get our hands on to keep Arkansas out of the slimy grasp of the Federalists. My boys are much better with the new Springfields and such that are comin' out these days. Figure it'd be better for me to be the one to use a gun older than the Union.

    Suddenly, a young man in a blue jacket stormed from the woods, bayonet raised high in the air and screaming bloody murder. "Freedom for all!" he yelled.

    Blade met blade, as Northerner and Southerner clashed.

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    The so-called 'Era of Bad Feelings' left a dark stain on the reigns of Madison and Andrew Jackson. With Britain and Spain defeated, France in shambles, and a newfound ally in the form of the Republic of Brazil, the United States of America was perfectly content with its position on the world stage. Which only meant that its inhabitants could get back to tearing each other apart more ferociously.

    Never before had the nation been so divided amongst party lines. The North-versus-South rivalry had evolved into a Federalist-versus-Democratic-Republican one, and as the Missouri Compromise split the country's allegiances, the rivalry was rapidly evolving into an abolitionist-versus-slaveholder debate.

    No event more perfectly depicted this collision of regional ideals than the Arkansas Crisis, better known as 'Bleeding Arkansas'. The Missouri Compromise had left just the land south of the line 36' 30° open for slavery, and even then it was up to its inhabitants to decide whether the dying institution should stretch its tendrils to the territories or not. While it would require nothing short of a miracle to convert Texas and East Florida to the abolitionist cause, and Cuba was seen by the South as a lost cause, Arkansas was solidly in the middle of the US. And both sides wanted it.

    Before the ink had even dried on the Missouri Compromise, Arkansas was bleeding red, white, and blue. It's no exaggeration to say that overnight the demeanor of the settlers there changed from mild discontent to outright revulsion. Democratic-Republicans claimed the Federalists were stuffing ballot boxes in Little Rock. Federalists claimed the Democratic-Republicans were policing the territory's border to keep out prospective Northern settlers. Both statements carried a lot of credence--here and there, extra votes in the favor of Federalists appeared from nowhere; likewise, if one let on they were from anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, they would surely be chased out of town by morning.

    Such was the reality of 1820s America, and outside forces were taking notice, most often the stubborn Indian tribes. As Arkansas was torn apart, the Choctaw saw it as their window to strike. They blew through the western part of the territory, ransacking American settlements and homesteads and generally plowing over any armed resistance. Luckily, crisis was averted when Andrew Jackson, known amongst the Indian tribes by this point as 'Great Chief' for his growing friendliness to them, met with the Choctaw at Fort Smith. On the behalf of President Madison, he negotiated for the barren western half of Arkansas Territory to become an unincorporated Native American safe haven in 1822. It certainly didn't please everyone, but the Choctaw agreed to leave the rest of the territory alone, and it earned Jackson the title of 'the Great Mediator', only contributing to his accelerated rise in the ranks of the Democratic-Republican Party.

    Outside of dealing with the natives, though, President Madison retained a 'hands-off' approach to the situation down South, something the Missouri Compromise had all but required. Instead, he took the advice of Secretary of State James Monroe and continued to enforce the Hamilton Doctrine. In the span of one month in 1822, he recognized Argentina, Peru, Gran Colombia, Chile, and Mexico as independent republics; by the end of the year, virtually every republican regime attempting to free itself from Spanish tyranny was recognized as an independent nation in the eyes of America. The US subsequently held a meeting of unity in the summer of 1823 with the Congress of the Americas, with delegates from every Central and South American nation that could spare them meeting with American statesmen in Washington, D.C. to discuss the future of the Western Hemisphere. Though the United States refused to intervene militarily in their revolutions, it made many mutually beneficial trade deals with Gran Colombia, Peru, and Argentina, as well as a military alliance with Brazil. Washingtonian isolationism was as dead as a doornail, and America was for the better because of that.

    In 1821, Tsar Alexander I issued a decree stating that declared Russian sovereignty over North American lands above the fifty-first parallel, as well as barring foreign ships from coming within 115 miles of the Alyeskan coastline. Madison didn't like this one bit, seeing it as a stifling of Manifest Destiny (one of the few issues both parties could agree on), and he eventually managed to get Alexander to revise the edict, ending Russian claims at 54' 40° and opening Russian ports to American ships. Even with Russia backing off, the fate of the West was still muddled. Despite countless attempts throughout Madison's second term, Great Britain refused to come to the negotiating table to pound out the future of the Oregon Country, still bitter over the Canadian War. Among President James Madison's great victories it would be this failure that would haunt him until his death.

    When Madison exited the White House in 1825, he gave it up to none other than Andrew Jackson, Hero of Habana and Great Chief to the Indian Tribes. Jackson came into office as a man in charge of a divided nation, but when he left, it was whole once more, though the same could not be said for the status quo...
     
  4. Ironshark Well-Known Member

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    Andew Jackson leading the union in an earlier civil war?

    This is going to Be badass
     
  5. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    It's less of a civil war than a rebellious movement in the South (sorry to burst your bubble). A true civil war will be coming soon, though.
     
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  6. Ironshark Well-Known Member

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    Well Andrew Jackson as a good guy is still interesting by itself
    Especially cause his style of threat /bluntness


    Will the civil war Be about slavery/north and south as well
    Or something different?
     
  7. Unknown Member

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    The language is ugly, but it's necessary to show just how bad it was, @HeX, but I do understand your warning...

    Yeah, Andrew Jackson as an actual good guy is interesting...

    Good update, @HeX, and if you keep this up, this will be a nominee for a Turtledove...
     
  8. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Since slavery will be abolished by 1839 (well, it'll be gradual emancipation with compensation to the slaveholders, so slavery itself won't truly end until the 1840s), the next step will be equal rights. And as one might assume, that is a terribly divisive debate...
     
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  9. Unknown Member

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    Here's two simple solutions to that problem: either have the Churchills move to the US before Winston is born or have the 14th amendment mention that people born outside of the US to US citizens are considered natural-born citizens...
     
  10. HonestAbe1809 Abraham Lincoln 2020

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    1. Maybe the migration of Natives to the Indian Territory ITTL would have more in common with the Oregon Trail than the Trail of Tears. TTL Jackson could sweeten the offer by giving the natives willing to migrate ironclad deeds to whatever land in the Indian Territory they want. So less like a forced migration and more like a test case for any future Homestead Act.
    2. I want to see the Russians keep Alaska long enough to find the gold there. Same thing with the Mexicans and California/New Mexico.
     
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  11. SuperZtar64 Lord Protector of the New Commonwealth

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    Will there be a map soon? I'm still rather confused over what the border between the United States and Mexico looks like.

    Also, the Tsar literally claiming the top quarter of North America? What's up with that? That's a surefire way to get both the British and Americans angry with them...
     
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  12. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    I'm working on a map. It'll come along with either the next post or the one after that.

    Uhh... I forgot to put the Tsar was just claiming the coastlines there. But that edict is an OTL one (butterflies haven't reached Moscow yet), and it spawned the Russo-American Treaty of 1824, which did the same thing Madison accomplished ITTL.
     
  13. Ironshark Well-Known Member

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    Is it weird I find slavery more understandable then being anti equal rights? In realtion to the period of course though both are awful don’t get me wrong


    Maybe it will have new ironic name ITTL?
    Like ‘the trail of dreams’ ?
    I could see Johnny cash since OTTL he was an advocate of tribal rights make a song praising Jackson for his treatment of the natives named “trail of tears”
    Something like
    “And general Jackson stood firm and said we gave this people our word and our word we shall keep!”
     
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  14. Ironshark Well-Known Member

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    wair quick question

    does america ever find out about the lost letter England sent?
    probably wouldn't matter much anyhow but still...
     
  15. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Eventually, they will, but that won't be for at least over a century.

    At the moment, they just write off the idea that the British attempted to remedy the situation before the Canadian War and believe the UK just didn't care what they did to Americans.
     
  16. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    Any big plans for the railroad boom of the late 19th century?

    I had some of my own if you like.
     
  17. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    I don't have anything planned past "there's a railroad boom in the late 19th century", so you're free to suggest ideas.
     
  18. Ironshark Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like an soap opera
     
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  19. SuperZtar64 Lord Protector of the New Commonwealth

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    History is the greatest soap opera.
     
  20. Ironshark Well-Known Member

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    Well yeah history is literally the first soap opera


    My bet?

    This timeline ends with a symbolic gesture of peace between Europe and the Americans kinda similar to soap operas leads getting married at the end .. especially since Winston Churchill becomes president and he seems pretty pissed at Europe in that speech we ..see maybe His English side allows him to make peace somehow ..

    Nah I am Kidding ..expect if I am right
     
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