A New World Wreathed in Freedom - An Argentine Revolution TL

Mariano Moreno infobox
Also, here's the fixed Mariano Moreno infobox as I work on part 3 of the Platine War!

Infobox Mariano Moreno.png

EDIT: Well, there's another error in the infobox, but it's not as glaring as the one that stopped me from posting it earlier so it's staying up for now. Error? What error? The infobox always showed the correct dates for his term as Delegate.
 
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AFAICT, no such pre-existing shipbuilding infrastructure existed in the southern cone.
Well, while about Valparaiso, I don't know, though I guess that there could be, found, If not shipbuilding facilities in itself, but at least, could be probably that there could be some experienced/skilled naval carpenters. But in the V. of Plata specifically, shortly before the revolutionary period, in the turn of the century (1800) the main ports of the viceroyalty and which in turn were centers of activities related to the shipbuilding of the Viceroyalty were: Asunción, Corrientes and Buenos Aires.
Also, would be worthy of mention, in my opinion, to the port of Montevideo, where apart from its commercial activity, it's noteworthy that the Spanish South Atlantic Royal Naval Station was there alongside to the Spanish fleet, that was there based in colonial times.
Given that it's possible to be assumed that for the indispensable repair and maintenance tasks that should be carried out there, aside of the Spanish navy naval carpenters, there should be some 'civilian ones'.
On the aforementioned ports, the first ones were dedicated to the construction of river boats, some of them small size and overseas frigates, while the one in Bs.As, to the repairs and, to a lesser extent, to to the construction of small boats/ships.
 
Well, while about Valparaiso, I don't know, though I guess that there could be, found, If not shipbuilding facilities in itself, but at least, could be probably that there could be some experienced/skilled naval carpenters. But in the V. of Plata specifically, shortly before the revolutionary period, in the turn of the century (1800) the main ports of the viceroyalty and which in turn were centers of activities related to the shipbuilding of the Viceroyalty were: Asunción, Corrientes and Buenos Aires.
Also, would be worthy of mention, in my opinion, to the port of Montevideo, where apart from its commercial activity, it's noteworthy that the Spanish South Atlantic Royal Naval Station was there alongside to the Spanish fleet, that was there based in colonial times.
Given that it's possible to be assumed that for the indispensable repair and maintenance tasks that should be carried out there, aside of the Spanish navy naval carpenters, there should be some 'civilian ones'.
On the aforementioned ports, the first ones were dedicated to the construction of river boats, some of them small size and overseas frigates, while the one in Bs.As, to the repairs and, to a lesser extent, to to the construction of small boats/ships.
Very interesting! Certainly makes Brazil's difficulty to continue operating along the Paraná and Uruguay rivers a lot more reasonable, although it seems that Montevideo's shipbuilding capabilities have been in and out of Platine control enough that it hasn't been able to fully exploit its potential as a hub for shipbuilding.
 
9 - The Platine War (Part 3)
Chapter 9 - The Platine War (Part 3)
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Carlos Federico Lelor, Baron of Laguna, Lieutenant General of the Royal Army, and briefly the governor of the Cisplatine Province of the United Kingdom.

The British mediators came into the situation expecting some sort of repeat of the 1812 settlement, but this time their proposal of status quo ante bellum was met with scorn by both parties: the Brazilians felt unbeaten and - most importantly - unbeatable, firmly entrenched in Montevideo and with an unassailable advantage at sea; the Platines for their part felt ascendant, and as their multi-year siege of royalist Montevideo had shown, they considered its loss a temporary inconvenience. Brazilians and Platines alike felt that too much blood had been spilled for the war to end with nothing to show for it, so their delegates presented their demands at the talks.

Brazil’s demands were simple: recognition of Brazilian sovereignty over the Oriental Provinces. Platine demands were equally simple: an immediate end to hostilities and the removal of Lecor’s army from Montevideo. Both had reasonable arguments in support of their respective positions: the Brazilians argued that Lecor’s army was far from spent and had yet to suffer a defeat in pitched battle, while the Platines retorted that it had avoided such a fate precisely because it was forced to encamp in Montevideo. Both wrote back furious condemnations of their counterparts to their capitals, and talks broke down as both governments grew convinced that the war couldn’t end until they struck a “final blow” on their enemy.

Lecor and Silveira fumed in Montevideo at the news, but both recognized that with the arrival of the remaining 1,000 portuguese veterans with their accompanying supply and artillery train by boat, their army was once again a formidable force that the Platines could no longer safely ignore in their rear. But much to their chagrin, they were alone in being able to menace the enemy, as the inhabitants of Porto Alegre refused to let Jardim sally from the city while the interior of Rio Grande was still swarming with rebel slaves. If Brazil was to inflict a decisive defeat on the United Provinces, it would be up to their crack army to do so on its own, especially as the Platine navy continued to frustrate Brazilian efforts to engage it in a pitched battle at sea.

Lecor was forced to decamp from Montevideo in the middle of February, instructed as he was to seek a fatal blow to the Army of the East; to his credit, he took up the task admirably, and set a plan into motion that would allow Brazil to win decisively. Taking advantage of Brazilian Naval superiority once again, Lecor retraced his steps from 1816 and retook the lands liberated by the United Provinces at the end of 1818, once again placing the Atlantic coast of the province under Brazilian control and allowing his army to operate along a wide swathe of territory from the narrows protecting Rio Grande to Maldonado and Montevideo.

But again he was frustrated in his efforts by Artigas, who continued to harass his forces with guerrilla warfare and forced Lecor to advance carefully lest he lose his vanguard and scouts to Platine ambushes. Worst of all, while he could count on the navy to protect Montevideo from a Platine assault, he understood that the recapture of Maldonado, Rocha and the border forts was temporary, as they were not important enough to warrant a garrison he could ill afford to leave behind. Arriving in Rio Grande by the end of February, the war had by this point devolved into a bloody battle on Brazilian territory on land, with only a perfunctory siege of Montevideo serving as reminder of its aims.

If Lecor could combine forces with the mostly-intact army under Jardim in Porto Alegre, the Brazilian commander reasoned that - as hesitant as the Platine forces were to face him on the field - they would be forced to give battle, as otherwise he intended to smash the guaraní rabble besieging San Borja against its defenses and, this time, burn his way south if he had to until he reached the River Plate. Jardim, determined to contribute to the war after years of babysitting frightened slavers, sallied from Porto Alegre at last; but arduous negotiations with the city’s leaders forced him to leave behind nearly 1,000 soldiers to guard against rebel attacks, in a move that would have disastrous consequences for Brazilian plans.

Lecor would be bitterly disappointed at the news, as Jardim joined him on the march with a third of his army left behind. But he wagered that 8,000 troops would be more than sufficient for his aims, so he set out on the offensive once again; Manuel Artigas’ flying column would be his first target, and he would set upon his smaller detachment with a righteous fury. What passed for infantry in his army broke upon contact with the enemy, with the rebel slaves and guaraní irregulars melting away into the countryside, but the cavalry would withdraw in relatively good shape despite some casualties. Eager to press his advantage, Lecor would pursue them into Platine-occupied Misiones Orientales, setting the stage for the decisive land battle he was under pressure to deliver.

Unfortunately for Lecor, the stage had been set by Artigas: gathering his 6,000 regulars, reinforced by the 800 surviving members of his nephew's detachment and bolstered by 4,000 guaraní militiamen, Lecor had not expected to run into the full force of the Army of the East so soon. Crossing paths near the headwaters of the Ibicuí, Lecor did not shy away from the fight: fully expecting the Platine infantry to buckle under pressure like they had so many times before, Lecor arrayed his lines for battle. But while the militia wavered, the regular infantry stood strong and rebuffed the initial attack, trapping Lecor into a slugfest against a numerically superior for and ultimately dooming his army to defeat[1]. The superior Platine cavalry, which by this point of the war also heavily outnumbered its Brazilian counterpart, would play a key role in the battle: blocking the Brazilian cavalry charge early in the engagement, they prevented the Platine lines from breaking, and seizing on the initiative, they'd capture the Brazilian artillery later in the day.

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The Platine infantry's improved performance in the face of Brazilian cavalry charges was a turning point in the conflict.

The loss of his artillery was the final nail in the coffin for Lecor's advance, robbing his army of any real capability to achieve its goals of conquest and forcing him to retreat before his cannons could be used against him. Leaving over 1,500 casualties behind as he raced back to Porto Alegre, the defeat at the Battle of Ibicuí is the decisive battle that both sides were desperately seeking: Lecor's army is spent, too battered for offensive operations and now separated from its targets by an enemy army twice its size; while the Army of the East reigns supreme on the field, capable of threatening either Porto Alegre or Rio Grande with relative impunity. With the fall of San Borja in early April, the Brazilian position is untenable even as its garrison in Montevideo refuses to surrender, especially as Artigas unleashes flying columns even deeper behind Brazilian lines to wreak havoc and continue arming slaves.

When delegates met again under the auspices of their British mediators, Brazil had lost a great deal of its bargaining power: their control of the seas wasn’t the crippling threat to the United Provinces they had hoped, while their armies had not only been beaten on the field, they had been beaten a week’s march from a major Brazilian city, and their guns had been used to capture the largest and oldest Brazilian city on the Uruguay river. But the United Provinces were likewise eager to bring an end to the war: its victory on land had been costly with more than 4,000 fatalities over three years, while the Brazilian blockade had forced the Platine government to scrape the bottom of the barrel in its desperate need for money, and every inch outside of the Misiones Orientales was crawling with as many armed slavers as armed slaves, making an invasion of Rio Grande proper a deeply unappealing prospect.

Although Brazil’s negotiators demanded the immediate return of the Misiones Orientales in exchange for the surrender of Montevideo, they could offer no counter-argument to the Platine response: if the Brazilians would rather wait until the fall of Montevideo to hold talks, they could convene again in two months time. They set their sights on more realistic concessions instead, ultimately extracting financial compensation for the United Provinces’ campaign of violent emancipation and - most importantly for Rio - securing free navigation rights for the United Kingdom’s ships throughout the River Plate and its tributaries, with a menacing commitment from the British mediators that the Royal Navy would guarantee the terms of the agreement.

The war had lasted three long, brutal years, leaving large stretches between the Uruguay River and the Atlantic in ruins; thousands of civilians had perished on both sides of the border, thousands more were displaced from their homes never to return, and the economies of both Uruguay and Rio Grande do Sul were left in tatters due to the bloody guerrilla fighting that frequently included the wholesale theft or slaying of entire herds, a violent escalation of a low-intensity bush war that had raged across the border in the run up to the war. Platine freemen and riograndese slaves were the hardest hit by the war, with many free black ranchers ending up in chains and even more slaves massacred by vengeful owners in the wake of Manuel Artigas’ campaign of emancipation at gunpoint.

It also made heroes out of José Artigas and Andresito, further consolidating the radical Federalist hold on the Littoral provinces, and turned the free blacks and natives that made up the majority of the infantry into darlings of the press, which was likewise quick to seize upon the violent excesses of Rio Grande’s slave owners to portray the war as an ideological battle far bigger than the petty territorial dispute that had sparked it. In an odd twist of fate, this triumphalism in the East led to an upswing of support for the war in Perú and the fight to support the rebels at Cuzco.

But as the United Provinces emerged feeling victorious and hungry for more - especially against an enemy lacking the ability to threaten its heartland or its trade like the Brazilians - the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves turned inward in the wake of the war. Although the loss of territory was relatively minor, the loss of prestige for its army was a tremendous blow to the prestige of the court in Rio, and the war had brought the issue of slavery to the forefront of political controversy like never before: a resentment towards the slave owners took root in the army, as they felt betrayed by the slavers who had forced them to hold back soldiers to help them feel safe and protect their “property”. When the remnants of Lecor’s army were ordered to help hunt down the remaining rebel slaves in the Rio Grande countryside, a small cadre of liberal officers led a mutiny among the Portuguese veterans and European mercenaries, forcing the government to turn to local regiments for the task as more mercenaries were shipped from Rio de Janeiro to end the mutiny.

The seeds of abolitionism had also taken root in the northeast, but any support for emancipation in the south had burned in the war, as the effects of Platine raids persisted even months after the last foreign troops had departed. But the war had strengthened the royal court in one significant way: its willingness to defend their livelihood - and the slavery that supported it - had sent the elite of Rio Grande straight into its arms, strengthening Rio de Janeiro’s position towards the other provinces.

With the end of the Platine War, Belgrano and Balcarce turned their attention back towards Lima: San Martin wrote to them that the Army of the North was ready, William Brown departed Buenos Aires once more with a new handful of ships to support the invasion, and Chile’s conquest of the last royalist redoubt to its south meant it could turn its full attention north. The ink on the treaty marking the end of the war with Brazil hadn’t finished drying before the order left La Plata: the invasion of Perú would begin at last in 1820.


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San Martin inspects his troops as final preparations for the invasion of Perú are made.
--
[1] Based on OTL's Battle of Ituzaingo, what was the high-water mark for an ultimately doomed Argentine invasion IOTL is the nadir of the Brazilian attempt to conquer Uruguay.
 
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Great update. But on the military economical side I guess that for Rio Grande and Uruguay more than the impact of the war having been fought there the worse as in OTL could be the many men that either forced by having lost all in the years long war or that after spent so many years living on the terrain and flighting along fugitives slaves, joining with bands of Charruas (natives American tribe/ethnicity) or even participating in 'malones' against the then enemy....
Those people,I guess that, as OTL, would found, even if some of them could be willing to do it, very harder to either integrated in the regular army as to comeback to the 'civilian/normal lifestyle' ..
So, I guess that in the immediate aftermath of the war both in Brazil as in the Uruguayan/Misionera countryside would be possible that could be ravaged by many bands of outlaws that living in the deep hinterlands and/or among the Tolderías (natives tents) that could be doing for living the only thing that they had learned and were used after so many years of constant irregular warfare.
Hence,I would guess that in the UP case, perhaps could be necessary to keep the war times deployment or at least part of the regular army/militias....
Finally, in the Río Grande case I wouldn't discard that at least some of the fugitives/rebelds could be able to form/create some kind of Maroon communities/Haven, probably in the still uninhabited/uncharted border forests between Paraguay and Brazil...
 
Great update. But on the military economical side I guess that for Rio Grande and Uruguay more than the impact of the war having been fought there the worse as in OTL could be the many men that either forced by having lost all in the years long war or that after spent so many years living on the terrain and flighting along fugitives slaves, joining with bands of Charruas (natives American tribe/ethnicity) or even participating in 'malones' against the then enemy....
Those people,I guess that, as OTL, would found, even if some of them could be willing to do it, very harder to either integrated in the regular army as to comeback to the 'civilian/normal lifestyle' ..
So, I guess that in the immediate aftermath of the war both in Brazil as in the Uruguayan/Misionera countryside would be possible that could be ravaged by many bands of outlaws that living in the deep hinterlands and/or among the Tolderías (natives tents) that could be doing for living the only thing that they had learned and were used after so many years of constant irregular warfare.
Hence,I would guess that in the UP case, perhaps could be necessary to keep the war times deployment or at least part of the regular army/militias....
Finally, in the Río Grande case I wouldn't discard that at least some of the fugitives/rebelds could be able to form/create some kind of Maroon communities/Haven, probably in the still uninhabited/uncharted border forests between Paraguay and Brazil...
Banditry is less pervasive in the UP because a lot of the guerrilla groups that sprouted up to fight the invasion folded into Artigas' army or flying column; their relationship with the military hierarchy is tense, but Artigas' personal prestige more or less keeps them in line - for now. The same isn't true in Brazil, where the countryside is full of roving slaves, roving slave owners hunting down their slaves and bandits of various stripes who've gotten used to the chaos. But in both cases, it's a problem that gets worse the closer you get to the border: the formal end of the war hasn't really registered among the people who've been fighting across the border for years now, and will continue to fight for years to come as neither state can really rein them in fully.

The issue of returning to civilian/normal lifestyle is something that I intend on touching, but "fortunately" for the UP they still have an ongoing war to distract them with. The big problems will start in a few years when the Spanish threat is expelled, because you're going to have a country with a large army with no new enemies to fight and only one border to really defend (starting from the premise that, at least initially, any potential territorial disputes between, say, Chile, Perú and the UP are swept under the rug during years of fighting side by side with well established borders between the countries already).

And keep in mind, while the fighting was in some ways more intense, it's also been a lot briefer than OTL, where the fighting lasted more or less continuously from 1816 to 1828; here, the war is finished by 1819, and while it has been quite damaging, it's still in better shape than OTL. The same isn't quite as true for Rio Grande though, but a lot of the fighting took place in the same region as OTL's Cisplatine War, just ahead of schedule.
 
Great update.

So the UP manages to maintain the its territorial integrity. But I feel like this isn't going to be the end. Could we see a Second Cisplatine War down in the pipeline?
 
Great update.

So the UP manages to maintain the its territorial integrity. But I feel like this isn't going to be the end. Could we see a Second Cisplatine War down in the pipeline?
I think it's possible, if not inevitable, that conflict between the two will continue; fighting with Argentina lasted into the 1850s as part of Argentina's civil wars IOTL, the border with Paraguay is long and poorly mapped, and the UP include the Bolivian Amazon that was the subject of territorial disputes between Bolivia and Brazil as well. Brazil and the UP will be enemies for a while, but both will be preoccupied with other problems for the time being.
Che, this TL looks great. I'm subscribed :).
Thank you! And it's epescially encouraging to attract other Latin American readers, I hope I don't disappoint!
 
The next update is done, and I've suddenly realized that this is, indeed, a wank: having robbed the royalists of Alto Perú, they have nowhere to really hole up when the invasion of Perú begins outside of Quito, as the north of Perú rose up in support for the liberating army (a fact that I had, embarrassingly, not considered when I started planning the TL). I'm going to post it soon as I try to consider the ramifications, and I've taken it upon myself to try and make a full South American map for 1820 (with the added bonus that the base map is just ever so slightly better, although that has come with the drawback that it's a struggle to use the map I've been updating so far as a reference).

I also want to share with you, dear readers, a niggling issue that I've been putting off but the next update is going to force me to deal with: Bolivia's name. I've continued using "Alto Perú", but that denomination didn't survive the independence wars IOTL, and I have no reason to think it'll do so ITTL. Keeping in mind the origins of OTL's names for Bolivia (Bolivar) and its first capital (Sucre), who lead the final push to liberate Bolivia in the mid-1820s. I'm tempted to incorporate Castelli's name into it somehow, but I'm undecided, as "Province of Castelli" sounds a bit odd; another option is to elevate one of the major cities - Potosí, Chuquisaca, La Paz, etc. - and have it give the region its name, with Charcas/Chuquisaca leading the pack.
 
Charcas/Chuquisaca could work here. A lot of LatAm countries that became independent, after all, initially retained their names from the Spanish colonial period, so it only makes sense.
 
10 - The Invasion of Perú
Chapter 10 - The Invasion of Perú
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José de San Martin, Brigadier General of the United Provinces, Commander of the Army of the North, and Liberator of Perú

When San Martin had arrived in Buenos Aires in 1812, he joined the ongoing revolution with a single goal in mind: the total liberation of Latin America from Spanish colonial rule. Exposed to both fighting of a standard unlike anything the Americas had seen since the American Revolutionary War and to liberal ideas unlike anything the Spanish colonies had experienced, he represented in some ways the typical contradictions of his generations. Initially a reluctant supporter of independence as an inevitable response to the Spanish promise to reimpose the traditional colonial order on the colonies, he departed for Alto Perú in 1814 committed to the aims of its most radical proponents, and began meticulously planning for the invasion of Perú, last and greatest bastion of Spanish power in the southern cone.

Finding the Army of the North in perilously bad shape after years of non-stop skirmishing with small detachments up and down the front, he settled in for what he envisioned would be the long process of turning a hastily-gathered rabble meant to prevent the north from falling to the royalists into a real army capable of taking the offensive against Lima. His first steps involved reorganizing the defenses of the region, recognizing Castelli’s cavalry commander Juan Martin de Güemes’ talents immediately upon his arrival[1] and putting the gaucho leader in charge of the guerrilla forces meant to deter further royalist incursions past Lake Titicaca.

Now more or less secure in his defensive positions, he began the arduous task of professionalizing his infantry, which - like most of the infantry in the revolutionary armies - consisted primarily of emancipated slaves, criollo militias and native detachments which, though numerous, tended to lack modern equipment and training. The first fruits of these efforts were the country’s first professional sapper corps, which would serve with distinction in the final phase of the Chilean independence war alongside Las Heras’ expedition.

When the war with Brazil was starting in 1816, his efforts were almost complete, but he would be disappointed by both the government in La Plata and Santiago: nearly half his cavalry was redeployed to Uruguay, alongside the recently returned sappers, and his Chilean counterparts likewise redirected efforts to the south in response. But he would not sit idly while the fighting raged in the Littoral provinces: Las Heras’ expeditionary force, 1,200 strong and with 3 years of experience at that point, was folded into the Army of the North, which now had a strength of nearly 10,000 men on paper (although only 6,000 of those were properly enlisted or on the government’s payroll), and continued organizing his army along European lines.

When the order to invade finally arrives in mid-1819, the army he leads is truly formidable: it has been thinned down to its professional core, with many of the criollo and native militiamen either being resettled elsewhere or formally enlisted, but still numbered nearly 8,000: all told, he had molded his infantry into a powerful contingent 6,000 strong running the gamut from grenadiers to military engineers and rifle-armed chausseurs. The remaining 2,000 soldiers officially under his command included both the European style cuirassiers and mounted grenadiers he’d helped train and the mobile and relentless gauchos under Güemes and Manuel Artigas who’d spent the last 6 years in almost constant combat. His army was also supplemented by a Chilean expeditionary force, totaling another 4,000 men under the command of Bernardo O’Higgins and fresh off their conquest of the last royalist stronghold to Chile’s south.

But for all the combined might of the Platine and Chilean armies, which would be reinforced by the militias of the still-extant revolution in Cuzco, their success depended more on the combined fleets of the Chile and the United Provinces, which were placed under the command of the Scottish commander Thomas Cochrane. Fresh off its baptism of fire in the conquest of Chiloe, the Chilean navy was instrumental in San Martin’s invasion plan, finally giving the revolutionaries a naval contingent capable of more than just raiding the coast or preying on royalist shipping.

Just as San Martin had dedicated the time since the liberation of Chile to training his army, so too had the government in Chile embarked on an ambitious naval armament plan which forced the remnants of the Spanish navy in Peru to hide in its ports and allowed it to subdue the heavily fortified islands south of Valdivia. It would also mark the beginning of the invasion of Perú with a bold attack right at the heart of the viceroyalty, placing the port of Callao under blockade in the early weeks of 1820 and capturing the royalist flagship - the frigate Esmeralda - in a daring assault that neutralized the last major naval threat against the invasion.

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The capture of the royalist flagship Esmeralda by Chilean sailors in a daring attack

With the port under siege and the Spanish fleet trapped by Cochrane, the combined Platine, Chilean and Cuzcan attacked the viceroyalty from both land and sea; landing at the head of a Platine-Chilean invasion at the Bay of Pisco, San Martin would take personal command of the invasion and would march towards Lima - whose port remained under blockade - in February of 1820, forcing the royalists to confront him or risk getting trapped in the capital with a quarter of the Royal Army of Peru and the viceroy.

Sallying under the command of Brigadier Osorio, they moved to intercept San Martin before he could cut off Lima from the rest of the interior; despite a heavy numerical advantage, the united revolutionary armies were unwieldy and of varying quality, while Osorio commanded over 5,000 veterans. The invading army made slow progress on the march, and were caught early in the morning by Osorio’s attack, spreading panic through the revolutionary ranks and neutering their superiority in numbers - nearly 2,000 militiamen would simply desert the field when attacked that morning - before San Martin and his subordinates were able to restore order in their ranks.

It was a shocking start to the campaign: although his casualties were relatively light and he was able to withdraw from the field of battle with most of his professional formations mostly intact, the 2,000 deserters wouldn’t rejoin the army before it faced Osorio’s detachment again, and most damaging to his campaign, the surprise attack robbed him of a third of his artillery[2]. But it was simply not enough: rallying over 8,000 troops, he took the offensive against Osorio this time, and forced the Spanish to take up desperate defensive positions as he used his advantage in numbers to try and outflank the royalists.

After long, grueling fighting, which cost the revolutionary army 800 dead and nearly twice as many wounded, the Spanish were beaten and what remained of Osorio’s army limped back to Lima. San Martin’s army had not only made good the loss of his artillery by capturing over a dozen of the Spanish pieces, it had also decimated Osorio’s forces: of the 5,000 soldiers the royalists arrayed for battle in the second battle of Pisco, 1,000 laid dead on the field, another thousand wounded, and 2,000 in total surrendered to the revolutionaries along with what remained of their ammunition and supplies[3].

The Viceroy in Lima, Joaquín de Pezuela, attempted to negotiate, and while San Martin agreed to parley, talks broke down almost immediately: Pezuela’s offer to “restore” the Cadiz Constitution of 1812 seemed of little of value to the revolutionaries, who’d held large swathes of southern Peru for longer than the constitution was in force, and it proved to be the last straw for the leaders of the royalist army in Perú, which would mutiny at the news of talks with the revolutionaries and force Pezuela to resign in April.

As San Martin made his final approach to the city, he was shocked to discover the drastic steps the mutineers had taken: abandoning Lima with the majority of the garrison, its food stores, its supplies, and most importantly, its treasury, the revolutionaries arrived to find a city wracked by fear and convulsing from brutal fratricidal fighting that would leave the majority of its Spanish population dead or exiled. But the fear gave way to exuberant celebrations as San Martin made his terms to the city public: his offer to recognize the rank and seniority of the remaining garrison prompted them to surrender immediately, and the city’s leaders acquiesced without hesitation to his condition that they convene a Cabildo Abierto of their own.

San Martin entered the city on the 25th of May[4] accompanied by leaders from Cuzco and settled in to garrison the city as its Cabildo gathered. Emulating the May Revolution of Buenos Aires, the Cabildo of Lima proclaimed a governing Junta presided over by the Peruvian general José de la Mar and sent out summons for a constitutional assembly, but they would take a further step that their Platine counterparts presided by Saavedra had failed to do ten years prior: on June 1st, 1820, the assembled delegates proclaimed Perú’s independence from Spain.

Although some fighting would continue, royalist power in South America had been smashed to pieces: the remnants of the viceroyalty’s army were dispersed throughout the countryside, trekking north as quickly as they could to the last redoubt of royal authority left, Quito. The Royal Army of Perú had numbered as many as 20,000 when the revolution had begun, but after a decade of heavy fighting and bloodletting across the Alto region, only half that many would manage to gather, exhausted and demoralized, in Quito. Formidable as the remaining royalist army was, it was soon trapped in Quito, as the rapid collapse of the Viceroyalty had only hastened an uprising that had been brewing in Guayaquil for years, culminating in the creation of the Free State of Guayaquil on October 9, 1820. The mighty Spanish Empire, which had controlled South America from the Darien Gap in Panama to the Strait of Magellan in Patagonia and the continent on two oceans and the Caribbean, was reduced to the outskirts of Quito by the end of the year as Gran Colombia consolidated its independence from Madrid the year before.

Batalla_de_Maipu.jpg

The Second Battle of Pisco definitively broke the back of Spanish power in South America
--
[1] San Martin was only very briefly commander of the Army of the North IOTL, being replaced more or less immediately by Belgrano due to his own health problems, but despite that brief stint in command, he immediately recognized Güemes talents and the effectiveness of his tactics to defend against invasion. It was in the context of defending Salta and Jujuy IOTL, but it would be just as true in the Upper Perú.
[2] Instead of going to Chile ITTL, Osorio was forced to stay behind and fight the longer-lasting Cuzco rebellion, which has survived primarily because the UP treats it as if it were its front line of defense. The battle I’m describing is based on OTL’s Battle (or Disaster) of Cancha Rayada.
[3] Like First Pisco is based on Cancha Rayada, Second Pisco is based on the Battle of Maipú
[4] Ok, I admit this one is the biggest stretch, since it has involved the biggest alteration from OTL: the army arrived on July 9 IOTL. But I couldn’t resist the temptation of having Lima call for a Cabildo Abierto on the 10th anniversary of Buenos Aires’.
 
The next update is done, and I've suddenly realized that this is, indeed, a wank: having robbed the royalists of Alto Perú, they have nowhere to really hole up when the invasion of Perú begins outside of Quito, as the north of Perú rose up in support for the liberating army (a fact that I had, embarrassingly, not considered when I started planning the TL). I'm going to post it soon as I try to consider the ramifications, and I've taken it upon myself to try and make a full South American map for 1820 (with the added bonus that the base map is just ever so slightly better, although that has come with the drawback that it's a struggle to use the map I've been updating so far as a reference).

I also want to share with you, dear readers, a niggling issue that I've been putting off but the next update is going to force me to deal with: Bolivia's name. I've continued using "Alto Perú", but that denomination didn't survive the independence wars IOTL, and I have no reason to think it'll do so ITTL. Keeping in mind the origins of OTL's names for Bolivia (Bolivar) and its first capital (Sucre), who lead the final push to liberate Bolivia in the mid-1820s. I'm tempted to incorporate Castelli's name into it somehow, but I'm undecided, as "Province of Castelli" sounds a bit odd; another option is to elevate one of the major cities - Potosí, Chuquisaca, La Paz, etc. - and have it give the region its name, with Charcas/Chuquisaca leading the pack.
If there's anything I've learned from reading (and attempting to write) TL's, is that there is nothing wrong with writing TL's that ultimately end up being a wank. Heck, OTL has a few situations where countries got wanked for a period of time (see Portugal in the 15th century, Spain in the 16th, the Ottomans from the 13-16th...America...et.al. Provided of course you can make it at least somewhat plausible, and I see no problems here.

On the subject of Castelli, is it possible to just make a play in the name? "Castellia" sounds a little more reasonable for a name than just "Castelli", and could definitely be incorporated into a provincial name. I feel Charcas could see it's name being changed for another libertador, considering Sucre wound up being the name replaces the former city.
 
Charcas/Chuquisaca could work here. A lot of LatAm countries that became independent, after all, initially retained their names from the Spanish colonial period, so it only makes sense.
This is the big reason I've more or less just swept it under the rug up to now, it's not like there's a rush to change names left and right. But the case of Alto Perú/Bolivia is a bit peculiar, since its name changed the most compared to its pre-independence times, and did so with explicit references to its liberators.
If there's anything I've learned from reading (and attempting to write) TL's, is that there is nothing wrong with writing TL's that ultimately end up being a wank. Heck, OTL has a few situations where countries got wanked for a period of time (see Portugal in the 15th century, Spain in the 16th, the Ottomans from the 13-16th...America...et.al. Provided of course you can make it at least somewhat plausible, and I see no problems here.

On the subject of Castelli, is it possible to just make a play in the name? "Castellia" sounds a little more reasonable for a name than just "Castelli", and could definitely be incorporated into a provincial name. I feel Charcas could see it's name being changed for another libertador, considering Sucre wound up being the name replaces the former city.
Charcas has already had its name changed in fact, Chuquisaca was the name it adopted at the time of the revolution IOTL, which is one of the reasons I'm leaning against changing it again since it's been Chuquisaca since 1810 ITTL. Castellia does sound much better than simply Castelli, and in a funny coincidence, is the name my dad proposed when I mentioned the bigger role I gave Castelli ITTL.

EDIT: The next update is probably going to be an "election" update, but very much by accident, I've sort of ushered in a weird Platine version of the Era of Good Feelings, so it'll more likely be a look at the state of things as something resembling peace settles in and an exploration of the seeds for future partisan divides.
 
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About TTL denomination of Bolivia, I would suggest that either be named Chuquisaca Province, taking the name after the colonial Audiencia of Charcas
or perhaps Tiwanaku Province, that would be taken from the Aymara language.
Also, if I would take a guess, then I would supposese that at least some of possible future ( internal) political conflicts in the UP, could be between those factions/parties that would want a more centralized State/ lesser regional autonomy, those that would be want to o defend/conserve the actual political status quo, (without any changes/'evolution') and who's would want a evolution towards ( for them); the next political step...from confederation to a full Federation...
 
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Is Grand Columbia/Venezuela still Royalist?
No, Bolívar's campaign proceeded more or less as in OTL, meaning that Grand Colombia has won its independence in 1819. The Royalists south of Panama are stuck in the Ecuadorian highlands, although Central America is still under Royalist control.
 
Mini-update - 1820 Map and Round-up
South America 1820.png

I'm overall much more satisfied with this map, but admit it's very much a WIP: I would like to add the subdivisions to the United Provinces at some point, and still feel like Perú's color could be more distinct. I'm going to miss the clearer demarcation of where the UP's authority in the Chaco region thins out, so I may add it back in as I work on its internal subdivisions, but at the point I'm leaning more towards the possibility of having it filled in with a lighter color and including the borders of the future provinces.

So here we are, 10 years in: the United Provinces obviously have managed to not just secure their position, but in fact push their eastern border a bit further to their advantage with Brazil's loss of the Misiones Orientales. Its successful defense of the Alto Perú has had dramatic consequences for the independence wars: the royalists are forced to flee to a last bastion to the north, instead of fighting on from Bolivia for years IOTL. This means two things: Perú's liberation goes a lot smoother, happening both sooner and more swiftly while being spared several years of costly warfare (so costly it would bolster royalists ranks due to lack of payment for its troops twice); but Quito's defenses are a lot stronger, making it a considerably more formidable redoubt.

This turns Ecuador into a huge flashpoint: IOTL, it was liberated in 1821-22 with help from Gran Colombia, but its 200-man intervention won't be enough ITTL, since there are now some 10,000 royalists garrisoned in Quito. They could also theoretically threaten Guayaquil, but most of them have just limped into the city after a desperate retreat through hostile territory, so they're not in any shape to do so just yet. But the threat exists, so Guayaquil is going to ask for help to everyone willing to listen, which includes the UP ITTL.

But the 1820s are also going to see the United Provinces and Chile pushing south now: Chile's conquest of Chiloe is the result of a generally less acrimonious civil war, meaning that its relations with the Mapuches to its south haven't soured quite as badly as OTL; while the United Provinces can now turn their navy's attention to consolidating its control of the Atlantic Coast at least as far south as Carmen de Patagones (and it'll be setting up outposts further south too), with demobilizing veterans leading the charge into the south of the pampas.

1821 is going to be quite a turning point as well, with the imminent collapse of Spanish authority - even if it's essentially only symbolic at this point - in Central America that's coming up. But in general, the region is considerably more peaceful than IOTL: the South American Wars of Independence are all but finished everywhere but in Ecuador, Chile and the union of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay have been spared decades of civil war between them, and Perú won't have to spend the first several years of its existence "re" conquering its south.
 
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