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Beyond Bondage
"...for the tens of thousands of freedmen in Cuba and Puerto Rico, the notion of a world without slavery was an alien one, and for many their immediate lives did not in fact change, and they remained on or adjacent to the plantations they had once worked. The slaveholder holdouts had long since fled to the Confederacy, but much of the planter class remained and now pitted poor sharecroppers against "los chinos" imported from Canton and "los indios" from the Philippines who undercut a potential class of mulatto and mestizo free laborers. Many, then, over the 1870s found a different path - into the Spanish military, which under the largesse of the Serrano Cabinet [1] expanded both on land and sea. By the end of the decade, black sailors and infantrymen were as common in the ranks as peninsular whites, an intentional project by Madrid to intermix not just races but provinces, to create a "Spanish" identity within the military that would then hopefully trickle out to the civilians in the provinces, particularly the restive Vizcaya, Navarra and Catalonia where small bands of Carlist gangs, little more than brigands, persisted for years in the hills as ideological highwaymen. Many also found their way to peninsular Spain for another reason - the burgeoning industry that was enjoying a new golden era as Spain committed to free trade and invested in commercial relationships with her old colonies in the New World. Black freedmen found a place in the textile mills of Barcelona, in the shipyards of Vizcaya, and the railyards in Madrid..."

- Beyond Bondage


[1] We'll cover this in a future update
 
Dixieland
"...President Harris's single term was a remarkably fractious one. The political and patronage machine he inherited from the late Nathan B. Forrest was not well-oiled but unwieldy; the scars of his "stolen election" win over John Breckinridge would loom over his term, denying him legitimacy with a substantial number of otherwise pragmatic oligarchs who really ran the Confederacy's government; and the embarrassment of the failed invasion of Cuba had made the Confederacy's power projection abilities minimal. Hopes to purchase the departments of Sonora and Arizona (and possibly California) from Mexico effectively died with the Confederate Expeditionary Force, for the Emperor of Mexico knew that to yield an inch of Mexican land would immediately doom his government, and the Mexican Army did not fear that of the Confederacy. In practical terms, this meant there was nowhere for the oligarchs to expand cotton operations but onto the land of destitute farmers losing their land as the Depression of 1870 continued to roil the land; it also meant that there was no adventure on the horizon to unify the country behind, as the various state legislatures turned inwards and Richmond was dominated by intrigue and infighting..."

- Dixieland
 
To refresh my memory how did Mexico get California and other territories lost to USA in 1846 war
They didn't, the departments referred to in the update are OTL Sonora and Baja California. During the Second Mexican Empire a new territorial division was established and several places changed names.
 
They didn't, the departments referred to in the update are OTL Sonora and Baja California. During the Second Mexican Empire a new territorial division was established and several places changed names.
What the Mexican military like that they are not afraid of confederacy military and the situation in Mexico is it stable or just waiting for a spark?
 
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Imagine Maximilian wanting to do some "adjustments" to the border with the CSA, maybe starting with the Nueces river dispute of way back. What could the Confederates do to stop it?
 
Imagine Maximilian wanting to do some "adjustments" to the border with the CSA, maybe starting with the Nueces river dispute of way back. What could the Confederates do to stop it?
Maybe the Confederates could be convinced to give up the strip with a little economic incentives? Maybe some military exercises near the border? Or maybe not, Max may be ambitious but maybe not *that* ambitious.
 
Maybe the Confederates could be convinced to give up the strip with a little economic incentives? Maybe some military exercises near the border? Or maybe not, Max may be ambitious but maybe not *that* ambitious.

also; whatwould he gain from such antagonism? The CSA May dreamily stare at Sonora but the appetite for conquest is zero after the Cuban disaster. Relations between Mexico City and Richmond are cordial, if imperfect (recall Mexico was quietly supportive of Forrest’s Cuban expedition). Also, the north of Mexico is already the part of the Empire Max has least control over; why add to that issue by adding even more land for local caudillos to carve fiefdoms out of?
Heading off European games in Central America is much more pertinent to his narrow and pragmatic goals, I’d say
 
Youth and Vigor: The Presidency of John T. Hoffman
"...despite living in an age where the Presidency lacked its modern-day power and singular place in the public imagination, the Tweed Affair nevertheless came to consume the Hoffman administration and the matters of the capital. Investigations were not smothered in the Democratic House but launched, seen as a way for committee chairman to put pressure on Hoffman to behave in ways favorable to their pet causes. The tension between the modernizer and reformist in the White House and archconservatives in the Senate Democratic caucus bubbled to a fore, their visions of constitutional governance remarkably at loggerheads, and issues of free silver and patronage as tense as ever. Just over a year into his term, it was plain that Hoffman was losing control of his Presidency, and that many in his party did not seem to mind.

For the opposition, it became a rallying cry not for the Republicans - themselves tarnished with scandals and debacles from the Chase era - but rather for the new Liberals, who peeled off reformist Democrats, most notably Samuel Tilden of New York, into a new party that promised "prudency with the public purse." The collapse of the Republican consensus and now the boiling civil war amongst Democrats of the West and Northeast, with their diametrically opposed interests, created an opening for the young party to campaign on public corruption, liberalism, anti-clericalism (in practical terms, anti-Catholicism) and a more robust foreign policy..."


- Youth and Vigor: The Presidency of John T. Hoffman
 
The Land of Plenty: Southern Africa in the 19th Century
"...Portugal had little interest in angering their age-old ally Britain, but in more nakedly practical terms viewed the Free Republics as a potential guarantor of their interests in the Zambezi Valley. British expeditions under David Livingstone had charted much of the highlands separating Lourenco Marques from Angola, and that land lay directly north of the Boer state now united under singular government. Hoping to claim a vast stretch across the belt of the continent - and aware that Lord Carnarvon wanted suzerainty over much of the same territory - the Portuguese began quiet negotiations with the Boers on a matter critical to both - the potentially establishment of two new Boer Republics on north and west of Transvaal in return for recognition of Portugal's claim to the entirety of "Zambezia." And so Portugal made the crucial first step, in selling the land south of the Umbuluzi and east of Swatiland in return for a large concession of diamonds and gold, thus granting the Boers the path to the Indian Ocean they had so long desired and adding another port on Delagoa Bay. North of Transvaal, Portugal recognized Boer rights to everything south of the Limpopo [1] and declared a large stretch of the territory to its north as neutral, pending the clearing of tribes from the area.

British officials were furious, and a battery of gunships were dispatched to Cape Colony and then Inhaca Island at the mouth of Delagoa Bay, from where the Royal Navy could control access to Lourenco Marques as well as whatever new seaport the Boers eventually constructed. Carnarvon in particular viewed the agreement as a cassus belli against the Boers, and was only narrowly talked down by his Cabinet, most prominently his erstwhile ally Lord Salisbury..."

- The Land of Plenty: Southern Africa in the 19th Century


[1] IOW we're seeing the modern day boundaries of Transvaal formed
 
As I plot out where the inhabitants of Cinco de Mayo are headed next, are there any updates on any place person or thing anybody wants specifically?
 
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