AHC make Mexico the most powerful country in America

Mountain

Banned
The challenge is to make Mexico post independence the most or one of the most powerful country economically and militarily in the american continent (replacing OTL USA) and possibly rival to major European powers like France,Germany post unification,and United kingdom
 
Have Spain somehow hold onto the Louisiana territory until it becomes part of Mexico. Give Mexico a stable, functional government. Either have the USA balkanize under the Articles of Confederation or have the ACW happen while Mexico and its stable government expand, settle, and entrench themselves.
 
My poor attempt to help Mexico
- Mexico defeats Texan Colonists
- Mexico avoids a War with the USA in the 1840s
- Mexico becomes a functioning democracy as a Federal Republic
- American Civil War breaks out in the 1850s and takes at least 6-7 years
- Mexico promotes Catholic only immigration until the 1880s when they allow other kind of Protestant Europeans settle as well. So Spanish, Italian, German, French and Irish immigrants prefer Mexico over the US. Note the Catholic ones at least if German confused you.

I don't know if the Southern States can win the 1850s but it would be ideal. The North becomes what Canada is like today but with more immigrants while the South is pretty much bankrupt and will not be recovered until the early 1900s in this scenario. By then expansion at the cost of Mexico is unrealistic. Mexico could become the strongest state but it has to go right in a lot of ways. Maybe Prussia also sends advisors to Mexico like it did with Chile.

Should the South still lose then it is harder. The US is still economically stronger though not necessarily militarily. California and Texas remaining Mexican can make Mexico a rival of the USA. Can... but not given.
 
-US Balkanizes early, splitting into 4-5 countries
-Balkanized US States expand some, probably all the way up to the Mississippi or a bit beyond, but aren't strong enough to take any of the OTL Mexican Cession, and in fact Mexico is able to press favorable claims in Louisiana and Oregon
-Mexico stabilizes early and develops as a strong regional power
-Much of the Catholic immigration to OTL US goes to Mexico instead, with heavy Irish, Italian, and German elements appearing in Mexican culture than IOTL. ATL Northern Mexico does well in particular, with Tejas and California being richer per capita than Mexico proper but still bound to the Mexican core
-As the Europeans decolonize, Mexico rises to be more powerful than any of them. It's not as strong as the OTL USA, but it can more than pull its weight internationally and dominates North America.
 
My own ideas, regardless of plausibility:

1) Have the First Mexican Empire succeed. (Not dissolving the Mexican Congress, establish an official constitution, convince Iturbide to not demand more power and control in the new government)

2) Somehow get rid of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, or at least don't let him get involved in Mexican history.

3) Don't authorize the immigration of Americans into Mexican Texas, instead, allow European immigration from majority Catholic nations.
 
-US Balkanizes early, splitting into 4-5 countries
-Balkanized US States expand some, probably all the way up to the Mississippi or a bit beyond, but aren't strong enough to take any of the OTL Mexican Cession, and in fact Mexico is able to press favorable claims in Louisiana and Oregon
-Mexico stabilizes early and develops as a strong regional power
-Much of the Catholic immigration to OTL US goes to Mexico instead, with heavy Irish, Italian, and German elements appearing in Mexican culture than IOTL. ATL Northern Mexico does well in particular, with Tejas and California being richer per capita than Mexico proper but still bound to the Mexican core
-As the Europeans decolonize, Mexico rises to be more powerful than any of them. It's not as strong as the OTL USA, but it can more than pull its weight internationally and dominates North America.
I have doubts about Mexico making favourable claims in Oregon, if the states are not contesting control the whole thing likely ends up British
 
A lot of things need to break right. Mexico would need to have the luck of the United States. XD An alt-war of independence from Spain, with the Central American countries being absorbed by Mexico would be the first thing. I do not, in any case, see Mexico retaining the Philippines, though that would be nice. Stomping the Texians, fast and hard, is the second requirement. An early Civil War in the United States is number three, with Mexican intervention, in exchange for lands constituting the western portion of the Louisiana Purchase, say everything west of the 100th Meridian, to the 49th Parallel. Mexico then presses its claims on the Oregon Country, and ends up with about the same deal from Britain that the United States got OTL, though it also includes British Honduras. Later, Russia sells Alaska to Mexico rather than the United States.

Mexico really needs to encourage immigration in order to fill up all this land! If it does that and has a a fair amount of democracy and political stability, I think you have it. Mexico occupying the OTL contiguous United States west of the 100th Meridian, Alaska, Central America and perhaps some Pacific islands and some odds and ends in the Caribbean (buys the Danish Virgin Islands, perhaps picks up Cuba and Puerto Rico in a later, "clean up" war with Spain) Mexico has an immense amount of land and resources. I can see Mexico building a Nicaragua Canal in the final quarter of the nineteenth century. This would be a Mexico that would eventually be counted among the Great Powers of the world.
 
At independence, Mexico's problem was mostly people. Not enough of them in the vast north. Not ready to run their own country . A century of Bourbon reforms made the place profitable for Spain, but not structured to develop itself economically. A heavy divide existed between the Church and the elite, neither of which had the country's or the peoples well being in mind, and liberals who wanted more equity/equality. Education and infrastructure was sorely lacking.

Add to that the country being ripped apart by the war of independence, and it is small wonder the place floundered.

There were plenty of mineral resources, not only in the current confines of Mexico, but in the western third of OTL current USA.

Putting the POD at OTL post independence makes a difficult, but not insurmountable, challenge. Allowing for an alternate, kinder, independence makes the job easier. Allowing for an earlier change in development of the country, pre independence, makes the task easy, especially if Louisiana remains Spanish.

At some point, though, you need leadership, preferably a multitude of leadership, to step up and lead the country into a stable state spending its energy on developing the nation, instead of 'leadership' only interested in self aggrandizement and self preservation. The people who had the country at heart need to be at the forefront of government, with an ability to lead, not be pushed aside by factions only interested in themselves. After this hurdle is cleared, the rest is easy.
 
"Spanish Ulcer" drags on for 25 yrs with an incredibly destructive civil war, a lot of Spaniards migrate to Mexico and then trek northwards as immigrants ensuring a far more populated mexico from Montana to central america
 
I agree that a strong Mexico would, at the very least, require a different independence than OTL. The convoluted process of independence (radical liberals promoting independence, constitutional liberals wanting to negotiate independence with the Spanish liberals, conservatives coming round to independence for fear of both Spanish liberals and royal absolutism, and finally Iturbide breaking his own Plan of Iguala to become Emperor) virtually doomed the country into see-sawing between various political systems, none of which had the time or resources to fund development, defend the North, or prevent foreign predation.

I think the best independence outcome would have probably been a negotiated 'liberal peace' between Mexico and Spain, brokered and guaranteed by the European Congress system (which did discuss the issue of Latin American independence in 1818 and throughout the 1820s). Under this arrangement Mexico would be a liberal-ish (perhaps constitutional) monarchy under Spanish/European prince, creoles get access to the political system, and the country would commit to freedom of trade.

OTL this proposal failed because of the joint opposition of the French and Spanish monarchs to any independence, as well as Britain's refusal to see a Spanish royal in Latin America. But had it succeeded, Mexico might have had a stable political and economic system, albeit one dominated by Britain + France. That might have bought the country some time to invest in its land and people and eventually achieve industrialization, although even then it would be difficult to match the geographical advantages of the US.

I remember some argument from Stratfor that Mexico could have replaced the US' geographic position had it seized Louisiana and the Mississippi Basin in the 1820s in a sudden attack. Does anyone here know whether the US could actually have been defeated by such a strike, assuming a stable Mexican government?
 
Last edited:
A lot of things need to break right. Mexico would need to have the luck of the United States. XD An alt-war of independence from Spain, with the Central American countries being absorbed by Mexico would be the first thing. I do not, in any case, see Mexico retaining the Philippines, though that would be nice. Stomping the Texians, fast and hard, is the second requirement. An early Civil War in the United States is number three, with Mexican intervention, in exchange for lands constituting the western portion of the Louisiana Purchase, say everything west of the 100th Meridian, to the 49th Parallel. Mexico then presses its claims on the Oregon Country, and ends up with about the same deal from Britain that the United States got OTL, though it also includes British Honduras. Later, Russia sells Alaska to Mexico rather than the United States.

Mexico really needs to encourage immigration in order to fill up all this land! If it does that and has a a fair amount of democracy and political stability, I think you have it. Mexico occupying the OTL contiguous United States west of the 100th Meridian, Alaska, Central America and perhaps some Pacific islands and some odds and ends in the Caribbean (buys the Danish Virgin Islands, perhaps picks up Cuba and Puerto Rico in a later, "clean up" war with Spain) Mexico has an immense amount of land and resources. I can see Mexico building a Nicaragua Canal in the final quarter of the nineteenth century. This would be a Mexico that would eventually be counted among the Great Powers of the world.
A quick and dirty map, with irrelevant internal boundaries, to go along with this post.

This Mexico really looks like a Great Power!
 

Attachments

  • Greater Mexico.jpg
    Greater Mexico.jpg
    271 KB · Views: 50
This requires much better Mexican institutions (not only better than OTL, but better then any other Latin American country in OTL by a wide margin) and a US-screw at minimum, and probably a Brazil-screw as well. Maybe a no ARW situation in which the various BNA colonies (including the 13) never rebel, and without major outside threats they never federate (or if they do, they form smaller federations, eg a dominion of NE). No ARW means no Napoleonic wars, leading to delayed independence in Latin America; as a result, the Mexican state is strong enough by independence to stop Californian or Texan breakaway movements, and is able to absorb Anglo settlers when they come. A stable Mexico with independence borders is able to develop more rapidly than Brazil due to proximity to large BNA markets, and maybe Brazil gets screwed in one of the many South American wars, or in an alt-independence from Portugal. By the modern day, Mexico is the largest country in the the Americas by population, and perhaps land depending on the Brazil situation, (although maybe not larger than former BNA as a whole) and around ~OTL Portugal levels of prosperity. Mexico isn't a superpower, but it is considered a great power, if that's a relevant term.
 
1) Iturbide did not declare empire and instead declared a Republic and becomes provisional president until the election is held

2)Vicente Guerrero Ruling Mexico (July 21 1822 - July 21 1842) , replacing Iturbide, then reforming and giving peasants and soldiers land in these areas that are virtually underpopulated. If this succeeds I assume that these lands would be productive and plantations and farms would be established, where Mexico had made it's land more productive. (The land to be given away are the once colored in Green), Also Banning immigration from the USA would help, as Mexicans would now be the Majority of these lands not anglo american immigrants, There would be no good reason for the US to go to war with Mexico if there is no huge American Minority in the North and it would be very controversial if they did so I assume they wont have any of it.
With more Plantations and farms operating, I assume this would help the Mexican Economy alot,

Mexico.png


3) Santa Anna Becomes President Replacing Guerrero (July 21 1842 - July 21 1858) in a peacefull way thru elections, continues reforms but slowly centralizes powers to the Central Government as a transition from federal to Unitary government, to Maximize development, And gave provincehood to the Mexican Teritories. Opening Mexico to more Foreign Investments Where Mexico will pay their debt thru opening to more foreign investments and paying them with the Raw materials in the Mines from European Countries. He won as a compromize betweent the liberals and conservatives. A Stable Powerfullish mexico that has a decent economy. That avoided the War against the US.
 
I think you need to gimp the Americans, and I can't see that happening without a PoD during the Napoleonic Wars. Let's have the Spanish hold on to Louisiana when Napoleon first approaches them about a deal, and double down on keeping it by encouraging immigration from anywhere they could get bar the United States. Louisiana is populated by a combination of French royalists, Black freemen, Spanish and Italian immigrants, and Nahua and Quechua from Mexico and the Andes, slowly at first but gathering momentum as the Spanish feel mightily pressured to secure the colony. The need to cheaply reinforce the frontier with the United States leads to the Spanish getting creative and encouraging the Manilla Galleons to return from Asia with Filipino settlers as well as kick-starting start the coolie trade a few years before OTL with the British primarily headed for the Mississippi but also settling a few in California.

When an equivalent of the Peninsular War starts, the Spanish Royal Family flees to Mexico and attempt to govern the New World empire from Mexico City. One of the supposed war aims of Napoleon was to make good on his interests in Louisiana, so the Spanish make a good showing of preparing a navy in the New World both to defend against Napoleon as well as to reclaim Spain. Settlement in Louisiana continues albeit at a reduced rate. Colonists are primarily sourced from their existing New World colonies in Mexico proper, the Spanish Main and Peru-Bolivia, though a steady stream of Spaniards fleeing Napoleon aboard British ships also make their way to the New World fleeing French excess. Tensions not only with France but the United States over Louisiana have solidified British interests in maintaining Spanish control of Louisiana/New Orleans against American expansion. This perceived European encirclement against the United States drives the United States right into the arms of France. Spain's hasty attempts to reinforce Florida would largely prove in vain though a good rapport with the Seminole and runaway slaves would be established by this time that would prove critical in the near future.

An alt-War of 1812 kicks up slightly ahead of schedule and sees the United States up against both Britain and Spain. The war proves highly unpopular both in New England, which depended on trade with Britain, as well as with the states bordering the Mississippi that depended on good relations with the Spanish and New Orleans for their economic prosperity, primarily Kentucky and Tennessee. The war, needless to say, also goes very poorly for the Americans when faced against the Spanish which had been prepping for an invasion for years, albeit not towards the Americans but towards Napoleon's occupation of Spain. The complete domination of the coastline by the combined Anglo-Spanish fleet utterly cripples the American economy and hampers any ambitions they had on Canada, Florida, and the Mississippi. Initially, the Americans were successful in occupying West Florida, northern East Florida, and the upper Mississippi north of St. Louis. These successes quickly turned sour as the British and Spanish started to make gains and shelled America's ports. DC was captured and burnt, Charleston was occupied, and the split fronts resulted in America coming up short both in New York and in Mississippi and Alabama. The Spanish in particular had adopted a policy of offering to free any defecting slave that would fight against the Americans proved wildly successful in aiding their rampage through the interior of the American Deep South and recapturing of West Florida.

The utter mismanagement of the war led first to boycotts and protests but started to escalate over time into talks of secession as Madison doubled and tripled down on the war. This culminated in first New England, then shortly after the states of Tennesse and Kentucky seceding from the United States and suing for peace with the Spanish. To say Madison didn't take it well would be putting it mildly. His disastrous response to the initial talks of secession in the face of his failures in managing the war emboldened the secessionist factions and triggered a complete loss of confidence in the American system. First the Carolinas and Georgia, then New York sued for peace separately with the Anglo-Spanish. The authority of the central government was in tatters and Madison belatedly sued for peace.

The peace would not only establish the permanent borders of the former English colonies with the Spanish colonies but also settle the border between Britain's remaining North American colonies and Spain's. The treaty went as follows:

* Spanish control of both Floridas was affirmed. Spain's borders for West Florida were set to the old 1795 claim, taking the southern half of OTL Mississippi/Alabama.
* East Florida annexes most of the US state of Georgia, its borders set on the Savannah and Chattahoochee Rivers so as to permanently secure the borders of Florida. Most of the lands making up the newly dubbed 'North Florida' are used to compensate ex-slave defectors to the Spanish cause
* The independence of Tennessee and Kentucky is recognized by all parties and guaranteed by Spain and Britain. Federated together with the northern remnant of Mississippi/Alabama not annexed by the Spanish. Country is split between pro-Union, pro-Spanish, and independence factions
* The independence of New England and New York is recognized by all parties
* Britain and Spain set their border in North America at the 43rd parallel
* Tecumseh's confederacy is recognized and guaranteed by Spain and the United States as all lands east of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio River(Britain was very successful) barring the US state of Ohio
* The border of Louisiana, British North America, and Tecumseh's Confederacy meets at OTL Iowa

With the American front won, Spain was now able to dedicate all resources towards the Iberian theater; New World soldiers would make up the primary forces retaking Madrid from the French. At the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars the question of the rights of the Spanish colonies really starts to gain traction and leads to a political crisis and clash of opinions not only amongst Spain's subjects but also among the royal family...

At this point, I wanna go to bed. So high-level outline time. The Spanish compromise and guarantee a large degree of autonomy for the colonies, but Spain is still clearly running the show. This inspires serious resentment but the situation is temporarily tenable off the high of the collective W Spain and its colonies won together. Spain gets bogged in a good deal of its OTL political quagmire it faced in the 19th history and suffers from a notable decline in its prestige despite still being considered a great power of Europe, dismissively regarded as a great power via virtue of its colonies carrying the mother country. This is taken poorly by Madrid and attempts to roll back some of the rights given to them post-war. This triggers fury and indignation from the New World colonies. The New World core of Mexico, Louisiana, and Florida that made up the backbone of Spain's war efforts take a page from the Americans and organize a convention as to how to respond to Spain's backsliding.

The end result is a panic in Spain at the idea of mirroring the British experience in the New World and resolving to salvage the situation. Initial overtures promising a return to the old rights are met with laughter at the convention and the Spanish bluster. But this bluster quickly turns into horror when they realize what the state of the Spanish militarily ever since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, minus New World troops of questionable loyalty. Truth was, the Spanish really were crutching on New World manpower and resources. A more ambitious compromise was then proposed after seeing the way the wind was blowing, spearheaded by one of the royals more sympathetic to the New World colonists/nostalgic for Mexico City.

The end result is something more than the Commonwealth or even the EU in some aspects that built on the Count of Arranda's plan for independent New World kingdoms. Louisiana and Florida, while both technically capable of having become their own kingdoms instead chose to petition for unification with New Spain. This was due to American revanchism as the political crisis in the United States appeared to be passing with the reincorporation of New York to the Union after years of negotiation and back and forth. Fearing the possibility of the Republic of the Carolinas of the Federation of Kentucky-Tennessee(no idea what to call them) uniting with a United States once more on the upswing, the two colonies decided to preempt any possibility of attack by turning to the strongest of the monarchies, arguably even more so than Spain proper; New Spain, or Mexico.

So there you have it. Gimped USA that still has enough teeth to encourage a unified Hispanic North America, Mexico that incorporates both Louisiana and Florida, as well as the southern half of the American South via wars of conquest and populated by freemen. Top dog in the New World, starts off with a very robust navy inherited from the Napoleonic Wars and a battle-tested army. Arguably the most powerful kingdom of all the Spanish Crowns at independence and absolutely will be given time and competent governance.
 
Top