A New World Wreathed in Freedom - An Argentine Revolution TL

Cornelio Saavedra infobox
Interesting I will be following.
About this scenario and on the military side should be noted that although the Portuguese traditional invasion ways to the, then Banda/Province Oriental would be open and unprotected the more probably and possibly the greatest possible danger would be if the implied/announced Portuguese relief/expeditionary Army (transported and followed by the Portuguese fleet would arrive for the Spanish controlled Montevideo and/or even worse to the Bs. As. neighboring stronghold of Colonia del Sacramento...
Thus, aside to invest even more resources to the Patriot Navy, to start the process of recruitment and/or supplying of an Army that with the local Militias, by menacing the Portuguese positions/cities in Southern Brazil would be able to dissuade these possible invasion way... Of course that, IMO, the best military and political option would be to take the risk and as was proposed in a similar situation IOTL to attempt to take by assault to Montevideo.
I'm re-quoting this because, ultimately, I thought that as long as the royalists controlled the river, a frontal assault on Montevideo would be so costly in men and supplies that as much as the revolutionaries may want to attempt an immediate assault, any attempt is more or less doomed to failure until they can wrest the estuary from Spanish control. That said, I do accelerate the timeline once the fleet is ready, leading to Montevideo falling a bit sooner than IOTL. The biggest ramifications are undoubtedly political: Artigas is another radical general leading the revolution's armies to victory and liberating the peripheries from the royalists. I didn't necessarily plan it this way, but the more moderate and conservative generals are not having a good time of it ITTL.
Great, detailed writing as always.
Thank you! I hope that nothing is getting lost in the details/
Good update--sounds like Argentina will be larger than OTL...
Yes, although it's substantially different from OTL's Argentina: for one, while Buenos Aires is still larger than practically all the cities, and has earned its reputation as the "leader" of the revolution, Chuquisaca, Asunción and Montevideo were all seats of different institutions of the Viceroyalty in their own right, so political power in the United Provinces is a lot more diffuse than the hyper-centralized Argentina that would ultimately lose Alto Peru, abandon Uruguay and was dismissed by Paraguay.

The next chapter is ready, and I'm working on the subsequent one as well - the former dealing with the immediate aftermath of the fall of Montevideo, the latter trying to take a step back and take stock of the system that I've created - but I'm going to post the next update tomorrow, to try and space them out a bit. The butterflies are beginning to swarm around me: Chile's revolution is about to diverge wildly from OTL's trajectory as the consequences of the United Provinces' success spread through the Andes, and of course, events in New Granada and Venezuela are about to break my butterfly net as well. While I'm doing my best to research and do these revolutionary processes justice, sources, suggestions and comments on the topic are appreciated!

To tide y'all over, I'm going to keep working on graphics for the TL; fortunately, the fact that it's a historical timeline means that I can also include ATL wikiboxes, which I think are fun bite-sized portions of alternate history. Today's wikibox is dedicated to Cornelio Saavedra, a man who I think has been both lifted up and sidelined compared to OTL; I didn't start writing this with the highest opinion of him, but as I was writing his downfall ITTL, I couldn't help but give him a more tragic, heroic end.

Infobox Cornelio Saavedra.png
 
Argentina still gets a lot of European and Jewish immigrants, and it probably avoids the Nazi-land reputation it got IOTL (assuming the Nazis still come to power ITTL) and, if it holds on to the Falklands, things get interesting...

All the same, I do expect there to be bumps in the road; it wouldn't be an interesting TL if there weren't any bumps in the road...
 
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Argentina still gets a lot of European and Jewish immigrants, and it probably avoids the Nazi-land reputation it got IOTL (assuming the Nazis still come to power ITTL) and, if it holds on to the Falklands, things get interesting...
The Nazis are way too far in the future, TTL's 19th century will already be radically altered by butterflies, let alone the 20th. But yes, it will get a lot of European and Jewish immigration - more in fact, since the immigration policy isn't stifled by civil war and constant changes in government - and generally be more populous than the sum of OTL's parts. As for the Falklands/Malvinas, I don't think they'll be especially relevant at all ITTL, the British don't seize them until 1833 IOTL, and the United Provinces are more stable and friendlier to the UK than the Buenos Aires government of 1833.
All the same, I do expect there to be bumps in the road; it wouldn't be an interesting TL if there weren't any bumps in the road...
I've paved over a lot of the potholes in the revolution's way, but bumpier roads do lie ahead: Brazil is now a kingdom, with it claims a border on the River Plate, and no government is popular forever.
 
. But yes, it will get a lot of European and Jewish immigration - more in fact, since the immigration policy isn't stifled by civil war and constant changes in government - and generally be more populous than the sum of OTL's parts. As for the Falklands/Malvinas, I don't think they'll be especially relevant at all ITTL, the British don't seize them until 1833 IOTL, and the United Provinces are more stable and friendlier to the UK than the Buenos Aires government of 1833.
According to this Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_Argentina, most of the immigrants to Argentina in the 19th century came from Spain and Italy, and there were over 6.6 million immigrants to Argentina during this wave, making it second behind the United States (which had 27 million immigrants) and that was after the Argentine Civil Wars.

Without the civil wars and changes in government, @minifidel, while the U.S. will still attract many more immigrants in the 19th and early 20th century, I could easily see Argentina getting more than OTL, so that it becomes the U.S. of South America in terms of immigration, IMO...

And, BTW, having a more stable Argentina without having bumps in the road would not be realistic, IMO...

Waiting for more, of course...
 
5 - Securing the Peace
Chapter 5 - Securing the Peace
Cabildo.jpg

The Cabildo became the principal instrument of popular sovereignty in the United Provinces and the heart of its democratic system

The General Assembly’s term had originally been for two years, but the ongoing fighting in the Oriental Provinces and the heavy Spanish raiding left little appetite in Buenos Aires or the provinces to hold new elections. But by 1814, the royalist threat had been cleared from most of the country save for a stretch of land in Upper Peru, and the morenists wanted to capitalize on their popularity as the victors of the war and the leaders who - with distinguished generals like Castelli and Artigas - led the fight for liberation.

As the third anniversary of the Assembly’s first session approached, the body sent invitations to the cabildos of the country to elect new delegates, also formalizing some rules for the next General Assembly: it ratified that any city with more than 15,000 inhabitants had the right to convene a Cabildo and elect a delegate and officialized the distribution of delegates for provincial capitals. The cities of Colonia, Rosario, San Luis, San Juan, La Rioja, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Jujuy, Tarija, Oruro, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz would elect a single delegate to the assembly; provincial capitals like Santa Fe, Paraná, Salto, Corrientes, Posadas, Córdoba, Mendoza, Tucumán, Salta, Potosí and La Paz would elect two; and as the most important cities of the nation, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Asunción and Chuquisaca would elect four delegates each.

While far from unanimous in its support for Moreno, the outgoing Assembly had convened at a time of war and danger to the nation, and it supported his wartime government to the hilt. The 1814 election didn’t have any formal parties, and nominally none campaigned in opposition to the revolutionary government, but factionalism was seeping in as it seemed the war was winding down. The morenist faction still triumphed, but its political opponents were beginning to organize and would secure delegates in several provinces.

While the saavedrist faction had disintegrated upon its leaders’ fall from grace, they’d ultimately drift close to the position of the Paraguayan delegates, as they sought a similar level of autonomy for their own provinces; this faction would secure delegates from each of the Littoral provinces and even win over one of the delegates elected from Montevideo, totaling 8. La Paz, Santa Cruz and Oruro would provide the biggest surprises however: despite the popularity of the morenists and Castelli’s reforms in Potosí and Chuquisaca, the persistent fighting in the north and the radicalism of the reforms was beginning to turn conservative criollos against the revolution. While they did not dare openly sympathize with the royalists, they prioritized peace with Peru over independence, and would focus their arguments on the legality of independence with the return of Ferdinand VII to the Spanish throne. Disparagingly called the peninsular faction, they’d elect 3 delegates in the north and, to the horror of the morenists, would manage to elect a delegate each in Córdoba and Mendoza as well.

The Assembly would reconvene in November with its new composition: the morenists had retained an absolute majority of 37 delegates, more than enough to govern as they saw fit, but cracks were forming in its ranks as well, particularly as Moreno’s trade policies seemed to aggravate economic problems in provinces that depended on overland trade. Nonetheless, he’d be reelected comfortably to the position of General Secretary.

When it came time to vote for Supreme Director, the Assembly demurred: the original position of Supreme Representative had originally been meant as a sop to the notion that the United Provinces was not intended to be an independent republic, a pretense they were all eager to drop. The position of Supreme Director had been created as a stopgap as the Assembly rushed to independence, and then had only really worked because of a personal arrangement between Saavedra and Moreno. Paso’s appointment as Supreme Director had rendered the position virtually superfluous, as he served as Moreno’s right hand man in the Assembly.

As popular as Moreno was, the General Assembly wanted to rein him in, at least enough that he couldn’t have every decision rubber stamped. They would turn to Antonio González de Balcarce, a member of Castelli’s staff and one of the most popular military commanders of the country. His bravery at the Battle of Suipacha had been instrumental in the victory that liberated Alto Peru, and the Assembly hoped to consolidate the Supreme Director’s position as Commander in Chief of the armed forces as well as the chief executive of the country. The division of powers between the positions of Supreme Director and General Secretary were more clearly defined, and much to Moreno’s chagrin, the former was also given a role in the nomination of secretaries and the power to sign or veto legislation.

On December 10, 1814, the United Provinces’s second patriotic government was officially sworn in, with Moreno and Balcarce recreating the gesture from years prior and greeting the crowd from the balcony of the Fort. Balcarce, a strong supporter of recruiting freed slaves, would sign the law abolishing slavery in the United Provinces starting on January 1, 1815; the Assembly would rush to amend its language to strike a provision inviting slaves to escape to the country after protests from the Brazilian court, but the Littoral and Oriental provinces would become the destination for slaves fleeing plantations in the empire.

The end of combat in the Rio de la Plata would prove to be a life saver for the United Provinces: trade could start to recover - quickly outpacing pre-independence figures - and the government’s coffers would begin filling up for the first time; Moreno reinvested it enthusiastically into the country, increasing funds for Brown’s efforts to build a navy - his duties now expanded to include the enlargement of the nation’s merchant navy and the continuation of hostilities with the Spanish overseas - and infrastructure to improve commerce. The most ambitious of these projects was the construction of the Panamerican Highway, a monumental project to pave the road from Buenos Aires to Potosí.

Balcarce would undertake significant reforms of his own, reorganizing the army with the threat from Montevideo dealt with. Half the Oriental army was redeployed to reinforce the Army of the North, which was placed under the command of José de San Martin. The revolutionaries would marshal a commanding force of nearly 8,000, but as San Martin discovered upon his arrival in Chuquisaca, they remained poorly equipped and lacked discipline. Rather than lead the army on an immediate offensive, San Martin would instead task his subordinates Manuel Artigas and Güemes to take their cavalry and harass the Spanish forces across the Desaguadero while he stayed behind and procured supplies for his infantry and drilled his artillery.

Flag United Provinces Alt.png

The flag adopted by the revolutionaries in Cuzco[*]

This expedition would be the precursor to the revolution’s most radical policy: it would signal loud and clear to the other revolutionaries up in arms against the continued Spanish control of the American colonies that, as far as the United Provinces were concerned, its war against Spain was still ongoing. The Spanish for their part shared this view, and refused any and all attempts to end the wars in the colonies: Ferdinand insisted that he would hold the rebels to their earlier oaths or hang them for breaking them. Despite only crossing into Peru proper with just 400 cavalrymen, Güemes’ gauchos - bolstered by San Martin’s grenadiers - arrived in time to rout a royalist army attempting to subdue a rebellion in Cuzco. The outnumbered royalists were hit in the rear as they pressed into a native army ten times their size, forcing the Spanish army to retreat to Lima.

The victory in the Puno would further undermine the Viceroyalty in Lima, which was also reeling from an earlier rebellion in Tacna[1] in the south. The Revolution would wrest control from the royalists in Lima slowly but surely, as support from Buenos Aires poured into the north. To accelerate construction of the Panamerican highway, San Martin would also employ part of his army in its construction, drawing from architects and masons to create a corps of engineers capable of keeping up with military discipline.

To make matters worse for the royalist stronghold, Brown’s fleet had crossed the Magellan Strait and had started to raid the Peruvian coast; his naval campaign would take him as far north as Guayaquil, and although Brown would turn back with his ships laden with spoils, ships flying the flag of the United Provinces would continue to prowl the Pacific in pursuit of Spanish ships and occasionally even attack and “liberate” small towns and villages as far north as California and as far east as the Philippines[2]. Moreno and Balcarce both felt strong ties of camaraderie with the other revolutionary governments of Latin America, sending embassies to both the United Provinces of New Granada[3], Chile[4] and the Republic of Haiti[5], but distance kept it from supporting New Grenada against the Spanish expeditionary force sent to reconquer the country.

But at home the United Provinces sprang back to life slowly but surely: as militias demobilized, agricultural production grew quickly, and these products would find willing buyers in the British; traffic between the provinces and along the rivers would increase dramatically as the Highway advanced and dredging began for canals to connect the Littoral and Central provinces and improve domestic trade[6]. In a decision that would have dramatic repercussions for the country’s relationship with the natives that inhabited the vast territories the provinces claimed but did not control, it proclaimed the interior of the country “open to settlement for any man wishing to be free and willing to work it” as a way to raise funds and encourage colonization, in addition to establishing a special commission meant to encourage immigration from Europe.

Starting in 1815, the General Assembly began to plan a new capital: striving to soften the blow to Buenos Aires’ prestige for losing its capital, the Assembly instructed its commission to select a location within the Province of Buenos Aires to establish the capital, compensating the former capital with two extra delegates “in recognition of its revolutionary honors” and a substantial financial compensation for the plot of land the new city would occupy that amounted to a significant cut of revenue from the customs its port produced. The small town of San Nicolas, on the border with Santa Fe and commonly known as the meeting point between Buenos Aires and the interior, is eventually chosen. On May 25, 1815, the government of the United Provinces broke ground on its new capital of La Plata on the banks of the river Parana[7].

planolaplata1.jpg

OTL's plan of La Plata, Buenos Aires' planned capital to replace the eponymous city. The inspiration drawn from DC and the masonic ties of those involved are just as strong ITTL, even if it's being built earlier and for a different purpose.
--
[1] Both the rebellion in Tacna and in Cuzco are OTL; the rebellion in Tacna doesn’t just dissolve ITTL since the revolutionaries haven’t been defeated in Upper Peru - meaning that Peru’s control of its southernmost regions is tenuous - and the intervention of the Argentine troops is enough to swing the balance of the battle and prevent the rebellion in Cuzco ending in its infancy.
[2] The exploits of Hyppolite Bouchard are too great to leave them out of TTL. They’re also helpful to illustrate that “export the revolution” was very much a throughline of even the more conservative revolutionary governments of the time, so it makes sense that a more stable revolution would dedicate more resources to the goal; material support for the revolution in Peru was the most consistent foreign policy of the Argentine revolutionaries IOTL.
[3] Unfortunately, the 10,000 strong expeditionary force that’s arriving in April of 1815 will doom the revolutionary republic much like IOTL.
[4] Chile’s revolution avoids the royalist reconquest of OTL due to the more precarious position of the Viceroyalty of Perú. I will go into greater detail about the changes to Chile’s independence in a later update, but for now it’s enough to know that the country hasn’t fallen to the royalists.
[5] The Latin American revolutionaries were quite friendly with and sympathetic to the Haitian government that considered itself a descendant of the Haitian Revolution (less so with the monarchist Haitian government that set up in the north of the country). This was evidenced by Bolivar’s decision to flee to the Republic of Haiti IOTL, and his Haitian benefactor’s decision to support his renewed campaigns in New Granada with supplies and men.
[6] I’m basing these policies on those implemented by High Federalists in northern USA, given that - allowing for the different origins of their liberalism and different underpinnings for their beliefs - Moreno would govern in a way that they would certainly find recognizable, believing as he did in the use of state resources to actively improve the national economy.
[7] The controversy over the status of Buenos Aires persisted well into the 19th century IOTL, until the eventual transformation of the city into a special district administered by the federal government separate from the behemoth that was the province it led. ITTL, the controversy is resolved much sooner, since the revolutionary government isn’t as concentrated there, but the selection of a location within the province is a sort of capitulation to Buenos Aires, as are the two extra delegates.
[*] The flag is the OTL flag of the short lived rebellion, with a Sun of May mostly as an artistic license
 
It's a shame that the native americans will be massacred in the interior, but so it goes.
It is; the Gran Chaco will be a tragedy ITTL like it was IOTL. It'll be different in the south, though, where progress is likely to be slower for the Platine government.
 
Great update but what happened with the royalists in Chile? While clearly TTL, with a more successful Upper Peru campaign seems that they were isolated/skipped or I missed/skip the way that they were dealt ITTL?

Also, about this update, I think that while would be great enthusiasm with respect to the Peruvian campaign but I think that too would be in the Litoral but especially in the Oriental and Misiones provinces or even possibily from the Paraguay, would be worry about to be involved in a long war far away when there are neighboring territories in need to be liberate but from the Portuguese.

I think that would be possible that, alongside with the proclamation, would be needed to be followed by officially addressed to the lands acquisition and legalization process that would allow that the actual little farmers and cattle ranchers that their rights would be acknowledged and protected.
Finally, if well that's the proclamation and the seek and settling in new lands would mean more conflicts with the natives tribes and communities... Though if the proclamation and it's probably anexes rules are inspired and/or followed after the Oriental province Artiguist rural reform...
Then, I think that the bigger beneficiary would be all those that would belong to the lower rural 'classes' that that given the age would be included, a great proportion of all those people that by their ethnicity were in the lower social strates and/or excluded from the Criollo society and that until now barred from any hope to become in lands owners. By ethnicity I'm referring/including all those people of mixed ethnicity and from the more or less assimilated Guaraníes to the freedmen or former/fugitives slaves that would have the chance to become in part of a new and wider rural class of 'small' lands owners that of course would become in the main supporters of the Revolutionary government and, I believe so, of the new U. Provinces confederal system.

"...the"Provisional Regulation of the Eastern Province for the Promotion of the Campaign and Security of its landowners" on September 10, 1815.
The purposes of the regulation were essentially economic and, in addition, social and legal. The economic objectives sought to recover the livestock stock in decline and increase production; for this, the land had to be subdivided, the campaign populated and the rural population fixed. Social ends tended to favor the dispossessed and protect the family. The legal purposes sought to impose order on the campaign by demanding work, pursuing laziness and crime.
The Lands Regulationsof 1815

The analysis of the Regulations makes it possible to distinguish two main groups of provisions:
a) those that establish a distribution of land and the promotion of production and
b) those dedicated to the restoration of internal order.

The provisions on the distribution of land established, to select the lands to distribute a preferably political criterion. They had to choose between royal lands and those belonging to the enemies of the Revolution, "emigrants, bad Europeans and the worst Americans who to date have not been pardoned by the Head of the Province to possess their old properties."
The choice of beneficiaries would be made taking into account their financial possession, family organization and working conditions. "The most unhappy will be the most privileged. Consequently, the free blacks, the Zambos of the same class, the Indians and the poor Creoles, all will be able to be graced with luck of stay if with their work and manhood of good they tend to their happiness and that of the Province. Poor widows will be equally graceful if they have children, and married people will be equally preferred to single Americans and these to any foreigner. ”
These beneficiaries would receive three kinds of property: land, cattle to populate it, and a brand to prove the right of property. The Regulation established that the land to be delivered would have, as much as possible, natural gouaches, fixed boundaries and an extension of 10,800 blocks, which quadrupled the extent of the land delivered in the Hispanic foundations. In this extension, around 3,700 cattle could be kept at that time, which would allow obtaining around 370 hides per year. The cattle to be delivered to the beneficiaries should be taken from the herds of animals in the past or from the abandoned farms owned by the enemies of the cause. Its capture and distribution was carefully established to avoid abuse or useless destruction.
All these prerogatives and rights were accompanied by parallel obligations: the beneficiaries could only receive a kind of stay, they could not alienate or sell them, and they were obliged to populate and work them. The obligation to build a ranch and two pens was specifically required, the omission or delay expired the rights of the beneficiary and the land returned to the fiscal domain to be distributed. The graceful one had to populate land and make it produce. The land distribution plan itself included a production development program.
The provisions aimed at consolidating order and guaranteeing the safety of people and property included the creation of a repressive force placed under the orders of the Provincial Mayor and his subordinates.
 
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Great update but what happened with the royalists in Chile? While clearly TTL, with a more successful Upper Peru campaign seems that they were isolated/skipped or I missed/skip the way that they were dealt ITTL?
The changes in Chile start piling up in 1814, and overlap chronologically with the update; the footnote hints at its changes - namely, the royalist reconquista doesn't happen ITTL - but fighting is still ongoing. I go into a bit more detail in the next update, but I'm going to rework it a bit because it's a bit too late in the chapter at the moment.
Also, about this update, I think that while would be great enthusiasm with respect to the Peruvian campaign but I think that too would be in the Litoral but especially in the Oriental and Misiones provinces or even possibily from the Paraguay, would be worry about to be involved in a long war far away when there are neighboring territories in need to be liberate but from the Portuguese.
Yeah, war weariness is going to become a serious problem, and the Littoral provinces are going to become a major source of political opposition to the morenist view of the war as a panamerican struggle for independence.
I think that would be possible that, alongside with the proclamation, would be needed to be followed by officially addressed to the lands acquisition and legalization process that would allow that the actual little farmers and cattle ranchers that their rights would be acknowledged and protected.
Finally, if well that's the proclamation and the seek and settling in new lands would mean more conflicts with the natives tribes and communities... Though if the proclamation and it's probably anexes rules are inspired and/or followed after the Oriental province Artiguist rural reform...
Then, I think that the bigger beneficiary would be all those that would belong to the lower rural 'classes' that that given the age would be included, a great proportion of all those people that by their ethnicity were in the lower social strates and/or excluded from the Criollo society and that until now barred from any hope to become in lands owners. By ethnicity I'm referring/including all those people of mixed ethnicity and from the more or less assimilated Guaraníes to the freedmen or former/fugitives slaves that would have the chance to become in part of a new and wider rural class of 'small' lands owners that of course would become in the main supporters of the Revolutionary government and, I believe so, of the new U. Provinces confederal system.
Yes, I thought I'd mentioned it in this update or the one before, but it must have slipped my mind: natives migrating southeast from Upper Peru and west from Paraguay are going to get in on this push into Gran Chaco, in addition to emancipated slaves and other groups discriminated against by colonial-era privileges. Castelli implemented this kind of radical land reform in Alto Peru, Belgrano did the same in Corrientes IOTL, and the political faction they belonged to is ascendant. The dividing lines are eventually going to be drawn along the issue of just how much power the national government should have, and where it should direct that power.
 
Dean Gregorio Funes infobox
Infobox Dean Funes.png

A bit of a teaser and harbinger of things to come to tide y'all over; the next chapter is finished, and intense work has begun on the one after that - it's going to be a big one.

I also want to thank Lenwe and Xenophonte, who have been extraordinarily patient with me as I mine them for information and use them to brainstorm ideas for my silly little project. And thank all of you who've read it so far and have been kind enough to share your thoughts and comments!
 
6 - Growing Pains
Chapter 6 - Growing Pains
327px-Francisco_Goya_-_Portrait_of_Ferdinand_VII_of_Spain_in_his_robes_of_state_(1815)_-_Prado.jpg

By 1815, Ferdinand VII had returned to the Spanish throne and redoubled royalist efforts to reconquer its lost colonies
Even as the parties begin to diverge domestically in 1814, both remained fully committed to the revolutionary cause, with renewed vigor in the case of the Federalists when news reached the country of the fall of Bogota to a massive Spanish army that - if rumors out of Madrid were to be believed - was originally meant to invade the United Provinces. Ferdinand VII’s absolutist restoration and willingness to send armies to subdue Spain’s former colonies gave more strength to the notion that the Revolution could not be secure until the royalists were cast out of the entire continent.

As a result, the United Provinces would expand its efforts to combat the Spanish presence in South America: an expeditionary force under Juan Gregorio de las Heras had been dispatched to Chile in 1813, but the war on the western side of the Andes had devolved into a bloody stalemate by 1814 as neither patriots nor royalists could score a decisive victory over the other[1]. While a small expeditionary force led by Gabriel Gainza would depart from Lima in January and would help to reinvigorate the royalist campaign in the south, the Cuzco Rebellion would force the royalists to abandon plans to reinforce the expedition as a new army led by Osorio was sent to reinforce the front in the east instead.

With the fall of Montevideo, the United Provinces would redouble its efforts to support its sister republic: in addition to Brown’s fleet, which would further strain royalist logistics in Chile, it would supplement las Heras’ contingent with a detachment of military engineers, sappers and dragoons under the command of José María Paz and allow the Chilean revolutionary army - now under O’Higgin’s command after the Carreras’ fall from grace - to push back the Spanish forces and recover the lost ground of the year before, ultimately capturing the stronghold of Valdivia with naval support. By 1816, the royalists were reduced to the island of Chiloé, and the local government settled into the tasks of managing Chile’s recovery from years of intense fighting and reforming its armed forces to prepare for an invasion of Perú. Like the General Assembly in La Plata, the governing Junta in Santiago identifies Lima as an existential threat and believe that the southern archipelago will fall when Perú does.

But as the government focused on the seemingly receding threat of Lima, the cabildos of the East - Montevideo, Salto, Corrientes, Asunción, Paraná and Posadas - were starting to debate how long the country could carry on a war on foreign soil while new enemies seemed to gather on the border: Brazil still claimed the entirety of the Oriental Provinces, and with the changes in the neighboring empire’s leadership at the end of 1815 combined with rumors of 5,000 Portuguese veterans arriving in Brazil in early 1816, the Assembly elections of that year would be forced to deal with the questions that gripped these Littoral cabildos.

Ever since Moreno sealed his first alliance with the provincial cabildos, these colonial institutions quickly became the core of the United Provinces’ conception of popular sovereignty and popular representation: although the General Assembly recognized the old provinces - and even created new ones - as administrative subdivisions and allowed them to elect their own authorities, the Platine constitution was also clear that all power emanated from the popular assemblies that governed the cities of the country.

In the traditional seats of colonial power like Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Asunción and Chuquisaca, their cabildos were all but synonymous with their provincial governments, as was the case for provinces like Potosí, Córdoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Uruguay and Misiones, whose provincial capitals dwarfed all other cities in their provinces. But the provinces of Mendoza, Tucumán and Santa Fé boasted multiple cabildos, and highlighted in a way the drawbacks of this system: Mendoza and Tucumán would ultimately be divided further as the advancing frontier required administrative changes to the borders, while a protracted legal battle between the cities of Santa Fe and Rosario would rob the province of a delegate for several years.

Encouraged by loans from the national government, the major cabildos of the country would undertake their own infrastructure projects, with toll roads and frontier colonies proliferating rapidly in the second half of the decade. This rapidly brought the cities into conflict with the natives that still dominated the hinterlands, and more than one veteran of the future wars of Latin American independence saw first blood against the tribes of the Gran Chaco and upper Patagonia. While actual control of the territory fluctuated wildly, by 1820, the United Provinces claimed to own the entirety of the Gran Chaco, and the General Assembly even created two provinces out of the sparsely settled territory, Chaco Austral and Chaco Boreal.

The encroachment on Chaco and southward were both propelled by the efforts of ranchers looking for new lands to graze cattle, but the two processes would diverge quickly, as gauchos that returned from the Upper Peru campaigns moved south with a new appreciation and sympathy for the natives; characterized both by smaller plots of land and a culture of inter-cultural solidarity and support, settlement of the south contrasted with settlement of Chaco, as relations with the natives in the latter soured quickly as they resisted the allotment of more land for cattle ranching. In the Pampa, the frontier moved more slowly, as the gauchos pushing the border intermingled with the natives and fought together against more aggressive tribes raiding from further south.

The national government under Moreno enthusiastically supported both as European immigrants trickled then streamed into the country while both emancipated slaves and liberated natives migrated to the frontiers as well. To further foster national development and economic growth, Moreno’s government would also oversee the establishment of a national bank, establish schools throughout the country and would liberally invest in enterprises in conjunction with a burgeoning core of merchants and owners of manufactories that continued to grow rich off government contracts. Moreno had first started the practice while Secretary of the Junta, using public resources to help establish the first armories of the country and to pay for the mass quantities of uniforms required by the revolutionary armies and its missions abroad.

Larrea.jpg

Juan Larrea was a close collaborator of Mariano Moreno on the Junta and became the first Secretary of the Treasury under the General Assembly

The fledgling country flourished under these policies, and when an enlarged Assembly convened in 1816, the morenist majority had grown in absolute terms, with the “peace before independence” party dissolving as Spain invaded its former colonies demanding unconditional surrender and Ferdinand VII rolled back what little reform his abdication had allowed. But the factionalism that the 1814 elections had hinted at crystallized in 1816, and the expanded body would be more clearly partisan as a result. The cabildos that had elected peninsular delegates like Santa Cruz, La Paz, Oruro and Cordoba, plus the cabildo of San Juan that had sent one as part of the Mendoza delegation, would elect delegates that were now more openly in opposition to Moreno’s faction.

These delegates would join together with the better organized Littoral delegates and form the core of the first real political party in the country: although they identified with the label for different reasons, they rallied together in opposition to the morenist monopoly on the direction of the Revolution. Once at the Assembly, these delegates would rally behind the figure of the Cordoban priest Gregorio Funes, and would begin styling themselves as federals, gathering both opponents of Moreno’s radical policies and proponents of greater local autonomy under one banner into a bloc of 18 delegates.

The rivalry between Funes and Moreno started in the heady days of the Junta, as the Cordoban feared that Mariano Moreno was concentrating too much power in his positions as Secretary of Government and Secretary of War; he’d find a sympathetic ally on the Junta in Saavedra, but the President of the Junta was away for most of his term, and Funes focused his energies on agitating for the General Assembly instead. Although incapable of preventing Moreno’s subsequent election as Secretary General of the new Assembly, he supported Saavedra’s negotiations with the radicals to prevent Moreno from monopolizing political and military power in the new system, and although Saavedra’s removal would weaken his position, he remained an influential figure and was intimately involved in the Assembly’s early work creating the nascent country’s liberal legal code between 1811 and 1814, while his influence was also instrumental in Paso’s replacement by Balcarce.

By 1816, his estrangement from Moreno is complete: despite Balcarce’s appointment as Supreme Director, Mariano Moreno maintains a firm control of the Assembly and revolutionary government, and although both represent different but compatible schools of liberal thought, the venerable Dean of the University of Córdoba can no longer tolerate the young porteño’s monopoly on appointments. Although there is little he can do to stop it, that the morenist majority has to contend with an organized opposition - which can count on Funes’ quill and clout to get their message across to the nation at large - changes the dynamic of the General Assembly, where the morenists begin to identify themselves as liberales to both attempt to portray their opponents as anti-liberal enemies of the revolution (which fails, given Funes’ role in writing much the country’s liberal legal code) and to counteract the growing phenomenon of personal opposition to Moreno translating into political opposition to his government (which also fails, due to Moreno’s continued dominance of the party).

But the biggest boon to the Federal party came from an unexpected source: alarmed by the buildup of Brazilian troops on the border with the Oriental and Littoral provinces, Artigas had engaged in an intense letter-and-pamphlet writing campaign, allowing the Federals to secure at least one delegate from each Littoral province, including a second delegate from Montevideo, although he disavowed any affiliation with either party in the pamphlets and hoped simply to alert the national government of the threat on its border. But in a twist that would ultimately lead to renewed questions about the role of Supreme Director, those same Oriental and Littoral delegates arrived in La Plata with an additional instruction from their cabildos of both parties: although Balcarce would ultimately be reelected, the Oriental and Littoral delegates would cast their vote for Artigas.

These delegates implored the national government to divert more resources to the Oriental provinces, as the advance of freemen and independent ranchers had drawn the ire of Brazilian forces and tensions were escalating under the specter of 10,000 soldiers poised to cross the Ibicuí and descend along the Paraná and Atlantic Coast. They judged that the conservative court in Rio presented a more pressing threat than the beleaguered Viceroyalty in Lima, and much to their horror, a desperate letter from Artigas as he left Montevideo at the head of the few forces at his disposal in August proved them right: the Brazilian invasion of the Oriental Provinces had begun[2].

1183px-Tropas_brasileiras_1825.jpg

Brazilian troops preparing to deploy to the Oriental Provinces in 1816
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[1] IOTL, Gainza’s expedition secured a string of early successes, forcing the Chilean patriots to negotiate a treaty (which was really more of a ceasefire); the subsequent arrival of Osorio’s army would doom the Chilean cause, and the country would fall to the royalists before the end of the year. ITTL, Osorio’s troops can’t be spared, Gainza’s original expedition is less successful, and the revolutionaries are still holding on.
[2] The incentives for Brazil’s invasion of the Oriental Provinces are a bit different than IOTL, but they’re just as strong. Although IOTL they invaded under the assumption that Buenos Aires wouldn’t interfere - which indeed it didn’t, permanently destroying relations with Artigas who already considered the capital’s attempt to negotiate with Montevideo in the wake of the 1811 invasion an unforgivable betrayal - ITTL they have just as much reason to invade as the United Provinces are as much a threat in success as they are in failure: the revolutionaries’ habit of spreading their literature in Brazil has continued unabated, the border provinces are rallying grounds for escaped slaves, and Dom Pedro is less permeable to British pressure than the regency court that buckled so easily in 1811.
 
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These delegates implored the national government to divert more resources to the Oriental provinces, as the advance of freemen and independent ranchers had drawn the ire of Brazilian forces and tensions were escalating under the specter of 10,000 soldiers poised to cross the Ibicuí and descend along the Paraná and Atlantic Coast.
I think that an additional source of constantly complaining to the government and other source of teynsions in the Oriental province borders with the Portuguese could be the renewed 'Bandeirantes' incursions that on this TTL case, could have as goals aside to attack the new ranches/settlements to steal cattle or even more damaging
for them could be their constant raids aimed for slaughtering, meat cutting and/or skinning to the cattle herds and of course they would search by fugitive slaves...
Also, in this scenario given the Portuguese invaders numerical superiority and the TTL certain that only would be matter of time to could start receiving supplies and for his forces be refused once the neighboring provinces Militias start to be mobilizing and /or for U. Provinces armies being redeployed from the war fronts... So I would guess that he should be forced lean in his superior knowledge of the territory and that most of his troops would be of gauchos to recurring to hit and run tactics and/or whenever the opportunity would arise to lay ambushes or even to attempt to deprive them from their horses...
 
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Good update; rooting for the United Provinces here against Brazil...
Thank you! It is going to be tough for the United Provinces though, Brazil has an unassailable naval superiority and an army with a strong core of European veterans.
I think that an additional source of constantly complaining to the government and other source of teynsions in the Oriental province borders with the Portuguese could be the renewed 'Bandeirantes' incursions that on this TTL case, could have as goals aside to attack the new ranches/settlements to steal cattle or even more damaging
for them could be their constant raids aimed for slaughtering, meat cutting and/or skinning to the cattle herds and of course they would search by fugitive slaves...
Also, in this scenario given the Portuguese invaders numerical superiority and the TTL certain that only would be matter of time to could start receiving supplies and for his forces be refused once the neighboring provinces Militias start to be mobilizing and /or for U. Provinces armies being redeployed from the war fronts... So I would guess that he should be forced lean in his superior knowledge of the territory and that most of his troops would be of gauchos to recurring to hit and run tactics and/or whenever the opportunity would arise to lay ambushes or even to attempt to deprive them from their horses...
I'd wager that the border regions have been engaged in an ongoing, low-intensity but violent bush war, with Brazilian raiders crossing the border to steal or kill cattle and produce and potentially enslave freedmen, and with counter raids by independent ranchers and freedmen to get "their" cattle back and break some chains along the way. The flow of liberal literature hasn't just continued, but increased, as all the littoral provinces (barring Paraguay, but for different reasons) are governed by avowed abolitionists and supporters of land reform.

I don't want to give away too much from the next update, but you're right that Platine forces will be limited to guerrilla tactics and hit-and-run attacks/ambushes in the face of overwhelming military force brought to bear by the Brazilians early on. The provinces haven't been left defenseless, but the forces at the UP's disposal in the region pale in comparison to the invaders and are spread out to boot.
 
Nice timeline! Well written, plausible and interesting. Very informative too, for those who aren’t so familiarized with this setting (the notes are quite useful in that regard). I wonder what will happen next. How will this world evolve? So many possibilities and options!

327px-Francisco_Goya_-_Portrait_of_Ferdinand_VII_of_Spain_in_his_robes_of_state_(1815)_-_Prado.jpg

By 1815, Ferdinand VII had returned to the Spanish throne and redoubled royalist efforts to reconquer its lost colonies
Fernando VII, El Rey Felón… Urgh. That’s why we can’t have nice things!

Fernando: “Well, that was a bust. Virreinato del Río de la Plata is completely lost to us, we don’t even have ports in which to disembark anymore. What to do now, with all these troops… I know! Let’s concentrate and send them to the other Viceroyalties."

Mexico and Gran Colombia: *Desperate angry noises.*

After all, that’s what usually happens in alternate timelines: one country’s wank is another’s screw.
 
Nice timeline! Well written, plausible and interesting. Very informative too, for those who aren’t so familiarized with this setting (the notes are quite useful in that regard). I wonder what will happen next. How will this world evolve? So many possibilities and options!
Thank you! I'm glad the notes are helpful, they're going to get a bit rarer as the butterflies pile up.

I don't want to look too far ahead, because I have a lot of work before I can get to it, but ITTL the Southern Cone is going to be spared several decades of civil war, while the republics of Latin America will have closer ties in general forged their shared fight.

Fernando VII, El Rey Felón… Urgh. That’s why we can’t have nice things!

Fernando: “Well, that was a bust. Virreinato del Río de la Plata is completely lost to us, we don’t even have ports in which to disembark anymore. What to do now, with all these troops… I know! Let’s concentrate and send them to the other Viceroyalties."

Mexico and Gran Colombia: *Desperate angry noises.*

After all, that’s what usually happens in alternate timelines: one country’s wank is another’s screw.
The reason I portrayed it as "rumors" of it originally being meant for the River Plate is because the wiki article on the invasion of New Grenada mentioned it, but it was unsourced and, uh, made little sense. The war in the Upper Peru is going significantly better for the UP than IOTL, but the loss of Uruguay happened more or less as in OTL (but with fewer conflicts between the revolutionaries), so there was nowhere for the Spanish army to actually land that wasn't going to leave them in hostile territory. New Grenada was already teetering on the brink and made sense as a military target, and was much closer to the still-extant Spanish colonies in the region.

OTL was such a seeming Southern Cone screw - at least, such an Argentina screw, with the revolution devolving into a 30 year civil war - that a surprising amount of issues are avoided just by preventing the characters involved from ruining everything with their egos.
I knew some of the very southern tip of South Africa might be unexplored, was that much really unsettled as it appears on the map? That is amazing.
The map may actually overstate the extent of settlement, the northwest of the Gran Chaco region is just as sparsely populated and outside of the UP's effective control as the rest of it, but the base map I started working with is a bit generous with those borders. Huge swathes of that region remained uncolonized into the 20th century, with Argentina still essentially waging a war of conquest on the region as late as the 1940s.
 
Battle of Carumbé infobox
Battle of Carumbé infobox.png


A teaser for the next chapter; the war will cover at least two chapters, and as you can see here, it does not get off to a good start for the United Provinces. The Battle of Carumbé is OTL, but there are a few changes here (chiefly, that Artigas is fighting under the flag of the entire confederation instead of having to face the full might of Brazil with just the forces of Uruguay and its neighboring provinces).

As I continue working on part 2 of the war, I'd like to extend my thanks to ByzantineCeaser and Viniazation, who've suffered a similar fate to Lenwe and Xenophonte and have had to put up with my walls of texts in PMs while I work on this war.
 
OTL was such a seeming Southern Cone screw - at least, such an Argentina screw, with the revolution devolving into a 30 year civil war - that a surprising amount of issues are avoided just by preventing the characters involved from ruining everything with their egos.

The map may actually overstate the extent of settlement, the northwest of the Gran Chaco region is just as sparsely populated and outside of the UP's effective control as the rest of it, but the base map I started working with is a bit generous with those borders. Huge swathes of that region remained uncolonized into the 20th century, with Argentina still essentially waging a war of conquest on the region as late as the 1940s.
Thanks, and I'm glad you were able to figure that I'm in South America, I am so used to typing the country named South Africa. :) the funniest thing was that I was bent on keeping from getting Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope mixed up, so my mind was visualizing one making sure I didn't call it the other and so I just went with the continent name and got that wrong. :)

It is amazing what egos can do to a Revolution, I read this and it feels like a miracle that the United States held on like a did. I had known that there was instability in Latin American nations but had no idea it was that bad. That is the great thing about alternate history, you can learn a lot of cool stuff about history also.

And, fighting into the 1940s is incredible.
 
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