I'm curious about what the peace treaty after GAW be like. My current guess is some border change on western side + demilitarized zone + limitation on navy + forced abolishment of slavery.
It's a terrific book. I love how it goes into the details of different motives among various statesmen e.g. Sazonov, Poincare, Bethmann-Hollweg, etc. as well as the environment that helped shaped their behavior as KingofSweden alluded to. It's also a good way of accessing diplomatic history - which can sometimes be a little difficult to read for your average reader. I liked AJP's Taylor's The Struggle for Mastery in Europe which is actually quite similar to the Grand Chessboard but he writes in a way that can make it difficult to keep things straight.I have that book on my wishlist...sounds like it is worth picking up?
what is the history of Moxie? That is a New England soda.
Yeah the extent to which European foreign ministries (especially civil servants within them) operated as a deep state detached from and unaccountable to other policy makers and were often as if not more hawkish than the military establishment was new information to me and serves in my view to explain quite a bit as to why Europe self-immolated in 1914. (I’m specifically thinking of the French Centrale and the British Grey Gang here though the wild incoherence of the German positions didn’t help either)It's a terrific book. I love how it goes into the details of different motives among various statesmen e.g. Sazonov, Poincare, Bethmann-Hollweg, etc. as well as the environment that helped shaped their behavior as KingofSweden alluded to. It's also a good way of accessing diplomatic history - which can sometimes be a little difficult to read for your average reader. I liked AJP's Taylor's The Struggle for Mastery in Europe which is actually quite similar to the Grand Chessboard but he writes in a way that can make it difficult to keep things straight.
I think I made a nod towards the German breweries of Mazatlan a while back haha but other than that I haven’t touched on this too much! Id say the booze business is still highly local. Prohibition is something Democrats are uneasy about, fearing it as a wedge between their urban working class base and more agrarian populist Westerners. The Prohibition Party will have a small part to play in 1912, in fact.Asking about Moxie (and my god, do I hope that it stays more popular in the US than in OTL - I adore Moxie, but its so hard to find!) it would be interesting to see how the Brewing Industry is doing in the ATL, both in the US and the CSA (and, hell, in Mexico for that matter). In OTL, at this point, the beer industry would have still primarily been following the local model, with many communities having thier own local breweries, but a few of those said breweries slowly growing in size and distribution (especially as technology increases and shipping beer across the country becomes easer) How is Prohibition and Temprance coming along?
On a sidenote - I know you're trying not to make this TL too utopic (or dystopic) - but if I may make an appeal on behalf of the Forces of Light: can you please short circuit Budweiser's rise to prominence? Thanks
tYhis is more or less entirely correct. I hadn’t thought of the Guano Islands actually so that’s a good thing to incorporate… and may justify the US’s strategic approach Id thought of.Comparing this expected GAW with other Alternate History USA-CSA rematches that I've seen. From information both in the stories and from responses from the Author..
Helping the USA.
1) iTTL, Britain, France (and for that matter the rest of Europe) are highly unlikely to get involve and may have mild preferences as to who they'd like to win the war.
2)This means that the US-Canadian border will not have combat, doesn't need to be fortified *and*
3) US trade across its northern border will probably *increase* during the war. (US Farmers selling their wheat in Toronto will probably be viewed as a *good* thing by the US government, less US shipping coming out of New York and Boston that it needs to protect)
4) iTTL, the USA is apparently at least going to be mildly prepared. 4 years of preparedness for a specific oncoming war is more than the US really had for *any* of its wars (with the *possible* exception of Korea)
I'm not sure we've heard anything on the Generals (and Admirals) for this war, there is certainly still time to introduce General Theodore Roosevelt or Admiral Taft (I think I found a role for Taft he is even *less* suited for than US President) (General Pershing was born *just* prior to the POD, but he was from Missouri and his father was a sulter for the Union troops in Missouri, he is *highly* unlikely to have headed south). Pershing taught at a Negro school just after graduating high school himself. So him commanding troops in this war seems likely and him having a reasonably positive view of Negros is likely.
Hurting the USA
1) All of the Guano islands that the US had access to iOTL seem *very* difficult for it to have access to, they are more easily reached by the CSA, Mexico or Chile. I hope the USA can stock up!
2) Additional manpower from Bloc Sud. What I haven't gotten a good feeling for in the oncoming war is whether we will have Brazilian (and Chilean) *army* troops fighting in Virginia and Texas, while this could help the confederacy, my *guess* is that those armies are going against nations in South America that are friendly to the US, Argentina and others.
I think this is key. Much easier to antagonize someone when you have a few friends egging you on (see: every bar fight ever). We know that the entire Confederate edifice relies on a toxic combination of southern pride, hypercharged Lost Cause-ism, "our way of life is clearly superior" with a heaping helping of populist demagoguery.It's hard not to see Confederate behavior, indulged and exacerbated by its three wingmen of Brazil, Mexico and Chile, having made general strategic disputes more toxic, though, and creating fewer avenues to find a settlement.
It has been mentioned in past updates that A - the Confederate Schlieffen Plan was executed to the letter and B - despite it working perfectly it doesn't win the war because it is a bad plan executed well. Part of the plan involves a thrust through Maryland and possibly occupying/besieging Washington itself; it has also been alluded that the government retreats to Philadelphia, although that is supposition on my part reading the text as opposed to the author outright saying so.In that sense, the events of December 1908 may have been a blessing in disguise, even as they accelerated the march to war. It effectively ended the view of Hearst and other Democrats that the Tillmanites were just Confederate versions of themselves and were rational actors who could be dealt with in good faith; Hearst's second term, generally viewed as being defined as the immediate prelude to war, was also spent dramatically improving the US Army's capabilities. Hearst's contribution to the GAW is a matter of great debate, but one shudders to think of how much more hapless the US Army would have been in its early stages had he not suddenly become very sober and clear-eyed on the matter of the "sister republic" to the South.
All great points. I'd say TTL's historiography about the war is about 80% "the South and her buddies ganged up on us" and then 20% reserved for people's partisan viewpoints du jour; the debate around Hearst's actions in his second term among actual non-hack historians is less "how much of this was his fault" and instead the more nuanced "Hearst did XYZ in response to ABC - discuss its impact on the road to war." (This is what I enjoy about writing this, too - there's not really a right or wrong answer to that question).Lot going on here. Let's dig into it.
I think this is key. Much easier to antagonize someone when you have a few friends egging you on (see: every bar fight ever). We know that the entire Confederate edifice relies on a toxic combination of southern pride, hypercharged Lost Cause-ism, "our way of life is clearly superior" with a heaping helping of populist demagoguery.
It has been mentioned in past updates that A - the Confederate Schlieffen Plan was executed to the letter and B - despite it working perfectly it doesn't win the war because it is a bad plan executed well. Part of the plan involves a thrust through Maryland and possibly occupying/besieging Washington itself; it has also been alluded that the government retreats to Philadelphia, although that is supposition on my part reading the text as opposed to the author outright saying so.
We know the 1913 US Army is viewed pretty poorly despite Hearst's upgrades and expansions. These expansions, labelled "dramatic" are still not enough to prevent the CSA from overrunning Maryland and forcing the government to flee to Philadelphia. We know that the war likely starts on Charles Hughes's watch, possibly in the spring or summer. Pure guessing on my part - it could very well start in the early part of 1913 when Hearst is a lame duck. I assume it starts in the summer because it is significantly easier to attack when it isn't wet and cold and I believe that the Confederate ASO doesn't want to march north in say, January. There's a reason pre-mechanized warfare was historically fought in the summer and early autumn. But again, guesswork. Given that the war (likely) starts on Hughes's watch and we know Hearst spends most of his second term "dramatically" upgrading the Army I think it is unfair to solely point the finger to Hearst as it seems many historians and partisans have done. But that's to be expected from the very same partisans that accuse Hearst's family of being "a den of Confederate sympathizers." It is a shame that they seemingly got away with this spin amongst historians who are presumably supposed to be less biased than newspaper editors, but hey, so it goes. Life's tough for a partisan Democrat ITTL.
The biggest reason this war started is because the Confederates wanted (hell, needed) a war. You can point to Hay or Blaine or Custer or Lodge or Hearst or Hughes or whomever and I'm sure they all have a part to play. However, if all the causes were a pie chart, the largest slice of the pie is "the South wanted a war." It is a shame the USA forgets that lesson in the finger-pointing after the fact.
This is quite fair. The Blaine-Hay policy of continentalism was good in theory but in practice obviously has not worked out (and by 1909 is in full collapse, as we'll see here soon). As we've discussed before, what worked in 1881 wasn't necessarily a good idea anymore by 1897, and Hay is just as guilty of sticking to what he knows/is comfortable with as a great number of his contemporaries. The sea change in US diplomatic approaches in Hearst's second term, and his SOS becoming a major player in those four years (and the most important and impactful SOS since Hay), is going to be the focal point of some coming updates.I think Hay deserves a small slice of the pie as well, both as SOS and as President, but only a small slice as he was dead some 15ish years before the guns started firing. He was the biggest mover and shaker behind Blaine's foreign policy as SOS. As President he chose to continue the same stand-pat policy of "hey, let's do nothing about the CSA" when John Morgan was President and the rhetoric from south of the Potomac really ratched up. Not saying Hay should have marched troops into Richmond but perhaps if he was less wedded to the dominant Liberal ideology of rappaproachment he could have done something to nip it in the bud instead of trying for more reciprocity treaties just because.
My God, you somehow made a royal figure as nakedly self-interested as Leopold, more openly decadent than Nicky II, more disturbingly rapey than Edward, and only slightly less reactionary than Franz Joseph. I'm impressed."...a curious case. The children of King Leopold were widely regarded as among the most odious royal brood in Europe, but Belgium's value to most European royal houses served largely as a place to find potential matches for young sons and particularly daughters. That was largely the impetus behind the marriage of Prince Stephane Clement,  the third of Leopold's children and his second son, for whom the King arranged the remarkably excellent dynastic match of the then-18 year old Augusta Victoria of Spain, King Charles Joseph's daughter, in the early weeks of 1909.
"Steffie," as he was known in the London society that he frequented, cut a controversial figure both at home and abroad. Unlike his elder brother the Duke of Brabant, he was politically keen and remarkably reactionary, making the argument that his father was not harsh enough of an autocrat even in his teenaged years. Stephane Clement, despite his youth, sought to make comments on current issues wherever and whenever he could, and that was typically through his friends in the British press. During his long sojourns in London (he generally absconded across the Channel for "the season") he became infamous for his hard-partying lifestyle, his frequent trysts, and his inflammatory remarks. In one particularly offensive article in 1908, shortly before he returned to Belgium for his wedding, he spouted off vitriolic and Germanophobe comments that deeply affected Prince Leopold's Bavarian wife  (the brothers would only make amends to present a united front in Brussels for the wedding), endorsed the establishment of French as Belgium's sole national language, and assailed critics of Belgian policy in the Congo, singling out the United States in particular. The marriage of the King's eldest daughter to this man was a point of great controversy in Spain, where a match with Infante Manuel of Portugal was preferred, but Charles Joseph was persuaded by the view that Spanish influence in Belgium would enhance Spanish influence in France and Germany (and the dowry from King Leopold was influential, too).
Stephane Clement's marriage was an opulent affair, even by the standards of European royalty. Offending the sensibilities of many of the attending guests from around the continent, the wedding's theme seemed to be a celebration of Belgium's Congolese colonialism, with hundreds of African servants in orientalist garb attending on the guests, a lion fight occurring as one of the key points of entertainment and the bride and groom exiting on an elephant (that elephants were not indigenous to the Belgian Congo seemed to matter little).  Augusta Victoria's younger twin brothers commented on how they were "deliriously ill" at the gaudy displays in Brussels and the aggressive behavior towards them from Steffie's brother, the future Philippe I , and upon returning to England King George sternly told his elder two sons they were never to associate with the Belgian princes socially in London again. Two decades after the original "Playboy Princes" had scandalized Europe, an even more grotesque version had come of age to terrorize the clubs, salons and balls (and whorehouses) of the continent, and Stephane Clement and his ilk had little intention of going away anytime soon..."
- Path of Darkness: Europe's Illiberal Hour
 "Steffie" is going to be important moving forward
 King Leopold's namesake eldest, Prince Leopold the Duke of Brabant, is married to one of Helmtrud of France's sisters (I forget which one and I'm not sure it matters)
 This guy sucks, in other words