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Frederick and Victoria: Consorts of Germany
"...the Lady Ampthill was thus a natural favorite of the Empress, who despite now having served as consort to the German throne for nearly two years was still a figure of rumor, suspicion and conspiracy in Berlin's press and high society. It helped, of course, that her husband, the Baron Ampthill, was the most admired foreign ambassador in Berlin, liked by Frederick and trusted by Bismarck, a rare feat that was reciprocated by the canny veteran diplomat's understanding of the Iron Chancellor's personality, motives and political machinations. The Ampthills were thoroughly English but liked Germany and the German people, and had the utmost confidence of the Foreign Office.

It would seem ironic, then, that the Ampthills would be at the center of one of the most shocking diplomatic incidents in world history up until that point, then. The Lady Ampthill had taken especially to trying to bond with the Crown Prince Wilhelm, largely at Empress Victoria's insistence. The glum young man with the bad arm resented the English side of his family, viewing British liberalism as soft compared to the Prussian Junker tradition, and it often saddened his mother; in the game Lady Emily, she had an antidote, an Englishwoman who was respected within German society that could expose young Wilhelm to British ideals, or at the very least temper his poor disposition towards his mother's native country. There was a political dynamic too, encouraged by both Kaiser and Chancellor alike - with Russia's "withdrawal from Europe" in the wake of the Berlin Conference, Germany suddenly found herself with only Italy as an ally, and neither Frederick nor Bismarck viewed the erratic, brusque Umberto I as reliable in case of a conflict with the Paris-Vienna axis. Though well aware from his marriage to Queen Victoria's daughter that the British would under no circumstances enter a formal alliance with anyone on the continent, Frederick sought closer ties to London out of both ideological and pragmatic reasons; Bismarck, for his part, wanted a backup plan to a potential collapse of the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia and had heard of sympathetic ears to his designs on deepening Sweden-Norway's bonds and using the Nordic kingdom as a bulwark against hostile Denmark. So the friendship between Ampthill and Wilhelm was encouraged - with fatal results.

One of the activities Lady Ampthill wanted to teach the young Crown Prince was sculling, a favorite pastime of hers. Wilhelm strongly disliked boats and only participated to entertain her; it was here that his weak arms betrayed him. As the boat nearly capsized, he went in [1], and as the Lady Ampthill reached for him with the oar it struck him in the head, dazing him. Wilhelm went under [2], and despite an attempt to drag him out, when he was pulled onto shore he was already half-drowned and the wound on his head had lost too much blood. The crown prince was only 21.

The death of the Crown Prince devastated both Frederick and Victoria, even despite his attitude towards them, and stunned Berlin society. Less than two years after the assassination of his namesake, now another Hohenzollern had died under sudden circumstances. The Imperial household was reeling; Victoria was beside herself in grief, not emerging from her apartments for a month other than to attend her son's funeral, and she would wear black for years. The death of his eldest son also had a profound effect on Frederick, who was hardened by it. Though his liberalism remained in place, it drove a wedge between him and his wife that would take years to repair, and it likely prolonged the tenure of Bismarck by a few years, whom the Kaiser had started looking for any excuse to sack before his son perished. The Ampthills, meanwhile, were effectively banished - the Lady Ampthill never forgave herself, and they held no role of any substance in any European court again..."

- Frederick and Victoria: Consorts of Germany

[1] This is an OTL event, btw, up until this exact moment (under different political circumstances of course)
[2] Now we get our butterfly
Wow, Willy 2 is gone. That should be good in the long run. Without his dumb "place in the sun" ideas that alienated every country, Germany should be in a stronger place
Maximilian of Mexico
"...of all the true caudillos - the men who ran their departments like local fiefdoms in both unofficial and official ways - it was Manuel Gonzalez of Matamoros [1] who seemed the most straightforward man to broker a truce between restive localists in north, west and south. The crown jewel of his territory, which he ruled officially having switched at a critical juncture to the Conservative side during the French intervention, was the bustling port of Matamoros on the Rio Grande [2], where he controlled the patronage of the customs house. In that sense, then, when Gonzalez spoke, it behooved the regime in Mexico City to listen.

Gonzalez, a pragmatic man, was not received the way more erratic caudillos like Manuel Lozada or the rotating names and faces in places such as Sonora, Nuevo Lion or Chiapas were. He was a man of stature and his visit in the summer of 1880 to the Chapultepec was expected to be fairly anodyne. [3] Gonzalez laid out for Maximilian over a courteous lunch his concerns about the dilution of the National Assembly and some of the more tightfisted policies coming out of Mexico City, and expressed worry over rumors of the infighting between Mejia, Miramon and Zuloaga and the increased power of Pelagio Labastida over the Empress. Gonzalez was rumored to have said, "I speak not for the others (other caudillos, in other words), only for myself, but know that others are more restive than I, and they speak with the voices of their people." Most critically, Gonzalez pointed out atrocities carried out by the Rurales looking for zocalistas [4] in Nayarit that had greatly piqued Lozada. The summit went south, however, when Gonzalez intimated that an apology to Lozada would solve the matter; Maximilian dismissed this notion politely but upon relaying the events of the luncheon to Mejia and Miramon, his two most senior counselors erupted with anger and Mejia rode out to confront Gonzalez where he was staying. As the First Minister rode down the Paseo Chapultepec, with its grand houses and leafy trees, masked men burst free from behind a horse carriage, firing revolvers and shotguns at his party, before running off before Mejia's minimally small guard could return fire. The spectacular assassination stunned Mexico, only two years after the attempted murder of the Emperor at the nearby Zocalo..."

- Maximilian of Mexico

[1] Department, since we're still using the Second Mexican Empire departments found here:

[2] I have to imagine that in a CSA Victory scenario, Matamoros would continue to be an important outlet for Texan and Northern Mexican commerce
[3] Of course he would probably rather be in OTL, where in 1880 he's getting to be President of all of Mexico in this city
[4] Zocalistas named after the Zocalo, where Miramon's men crushed the protest and then where the Emperor was nearly killed
Hendricks: America's 20th President
"...the paralysis stunned Hendricks, who had previously otherwise been in good health [1]. Particularly as the illness struck soon before the Democratic Convention was due to convene in Cincinnati, it effectively foreclosed on a further run by the ailing President, who had already grown weary of the office and had begun pondering not seeking a second term after Vice President Church [2] passed away suddenly in May, placing speaker Marshall first-in-line to the Presidency. And so, Hendricks made it quietly known that he had decided to retire and return to Indiana. The paralysis was serious - within two years, Hendricks would not be able to stand, and he was wheelchair-bound until his death in 1885. The convention, then, came together to nominate a President to win a third term for the Democratic Party, something not done since Martin van Buren succeeded Andrew Jackson - both men idols to Hendricks. There were a number of frontrunners who seemed clear potential choices - the most obvious was Sam Cox, denied the Presidency in 1876 but who had served loyally and competently as Hendricks' Secretary of State, and having already served as Vice President and Speaker of the House was potentially the most qualified Presidential candidate in the history of elections, including to present day. The other was Thomas Bayard of Delaware, a leader of the party's conservative faction, who generally viewed it as being his "turn" to take the nomination. The third major candidate outside of some smaller favorite sons was Senator George Pendleton, another reactionary, albeit one who unlike Bayard supported soft money and took the view that the Bland-Allison Silver Act had not gone far enough, advocating for "truly free silver" rather than the 8:1 ratio carefully negotiated by Hendricks as another incremental step from Hoffman's 4:1 compromise.

The advantage for Cox was that he was acceptable to many of the party's conservatives, as well as its reformers; he was liked by the New York machine, headed by "Honest John" Kelly now at Tammany who admired him for his steadfast support of the perhaps unfairly-maligned Hoffman, but was also at this point personal friends with Hendricks, who had grown to appreciate his blunt advice, their similar foregrounding of honesty as a critical measure of a man, and vigorous stewardship of America's diplomacy, a matter that the 20th President had little personal interest or experience in. Cox had moderate views on tariff policy, as befitted a man from a protectionist state like Ohio, an issue he believed could be used to bludgeon the pro-free trade Liberal candidate Blaine with [3], and unlike both Bayard and Pendleton, he had not been a Peace Democrat from the outset of the war, which still nearly twenty years later cast a shadow over the deliberations of Democratic politics. Though he would be one of the last major figures from the "War Generation," Cox was able to articulate a Democratic Party built on urban industrial machines and farming societies, of miners, factorymen and railroad workers, of immigrants and multigenerational Americans alike. The social democratic version of Andrew Jackson's "common man's party" was starting to take shape, perhaps not in policy but in its demographics. Bayard and Pendleton split the opposition to Cox, who won on the first ballot in one of the most commanding convention wins in history. Samuel "Sunset" Cox would run to succeed Thomas Hendricks as President of the United States in 1880.

Indeed, the entire convention was defined by a spirit of unanimity - the platform was approved without dissent, and as Vice Presidential nominee the man widely viewed as a potential successor to Speaker Sam Marshall - Samuel J. Randall of Pennsylvania, a reform-minded supporter of smaller government who appealed to many industrial-state nominees as a known supporter of a higher tariff, unlike the more muddled position of Cox [4] - was chosen on the first ballot as well. Unlike the fractious, chaotic conventions that had plagued Democrats for the last six Presidential elections, the delegates leaving Cincinnati's Music Hall in June of 1880 felt triumphant and like they were hitting their stride, even after holding Congress and the White House for close to a decade. Upon receiving word of the "Two Sams" being nominated on the Cox-Randall ticket as he convalesced in Indianapolis, Hendricks was said to have said, "the Union sits on the verge of electing the next Washington, Jefferson or Jackson. God is good!"..."

- Hendricks: America's 20th President

[1] In OTL this occurred too, and only he, his wife and his doctor knew about it... harder to hide as the President.
[2] Sanford Church did indeed die in May 1880 IOTL
[3] More on this in the next update
[4] We're effectively entirely flipping the parties' positions on tariffs compared to OTL here. And yes, this means that Grover Cleveland and William McKinley's careers are effectively over before they start
War By Another Name: American Elections in the 19th Century
" when the Liberals met in Chicago to nominate their candidate, it was clear that either Tilden - with his vast fortune, New York machine and experience on a national ticket - or Blaine would be the nominee. Tilden had passed on a surefire Senate seat to run for President again, but Blaine was a substantial obstacle to another race, as were rumors about Tilden's health. In terms of policy, little separated the two men. Both supported a moderate course on civil service reform, both were skeptical of free silver, and both supported modest adjustments in specific tariffs, as well as reversing Hendricks' Naval cuts if not further naval expansion (it helped that both were from Eastern states with substantial merchant marines). In the end, though, Tilden was done in by three factors - his prior identity as a prominent Democrat in a party that was essentially the rebranded moderate wing of the Republicans, his loss in 1876, and his not attending the convention. Blaine was there, though he did not speak until the nomination was secured on the third ballot, in which he gave a stirring address well-received by the delegates in the Glass Palace. Tilden never sought elective office again, and died in 1886.

Much of what helped drive Blaine to the nomination was his advocacy for vast new funding for public education at the state and federal level, which in the parlance of 1880 liberalism was largely understood as opposition to parochial schools, particularly the Catholic ones springing up around the country but German Lutheran ones as well. Though Blaine was not thought to harbor personal animus against Catholics - he was if anything a virulent Anglophobe who viewed the United Kingdom as a direct threat to the long-term interests of the United States in the Western Hemisphere, particularly vis a vis British investment in the Confederacy and Mexico - he understood the zeitgeist of the middle class entrepreneurial Protestant majority that viewed the growing Catholic population of the United States with suspicion, and used it to his advantage.

Blaine had another key advantage as he prepared to face off with Cox in November, and that was that the Republican Party had collapsed and nominated her last standard bearer, Benjamin Butler, as a fusion candidate of the "Labor Party," with the remnants of the Greenbacks. With more soft-money and inflationist supporters now identifying with the Democrats, it was from the incumbent party that votes would be siphoned, rather than the Liberal-Republican split. Sensing this, the Liberals pincered the Democrats with their Vice Presidential nomination, choosing John A. Logan of Illinois, a former Douglas Democrat who was now a conservative Liberal, as Blaine's running mate, to appeal to hard-money "Bourbon Democrats" in the upcoming election..."

- War By Another Name: American Elections in the 19th Century
Hey all! I'm charting out the start of the 1880s right now and trying to get my outline organized properly (it's in my iPhone notes lol as bullet points). Are there are *people*, historical figures, etc, who I haven't covered who anybody wants a quick check in on by request, to see what they're up to?
The Pineapple Kingdom: Hawaii in the 19th Century
"...France fully extending suzerainty over the islands of Tahiti and incorporating them as a colony - even with a local king still on the throne - did not go unnoticed at the court of Kalakaua [1] or by the Royal Navy's growing fleet station at Pearl Harbour. It was part and parcel with the differing approaches Britain and France had to colonialism, too - London preferred indirect rule, through proxy local governments, as opposed to the direct control exercised from Paris. The establishment of a Spanish coaling station at Isla de Pascua and the American seizure of the uninhabited Midway islands began to make the central Pacific a playground for not just missionaries and merchants but navies as well, with newcomer Germany particularly interested in the Samoan islands. For Britain, Hawaii continued to emerge as an ever-more important lynchpin, especially as the Canadian Pacific Railroad reached the burgeoning new city of Vancouver in 1881 [2], thus creating a new route to Australia and India that circumvented Suez - across Canada by rail, via Hawaii, and then from there to Britain's vast Eastern Empire. As the 1880s dawned, it was not just Hawaii that became the focus of British naval concerns, but control of all three of the Great Capes - Cape Horn, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin - to block French expansionism and prevent any further chokepoints for British commerce in the fashion of Suez [3]..."

- The Pineapple Kingdom: Hawaii in the 19th Century

[1] Figure Lunalilo still dies of his various ailments
[2] Early due to MacDonald and the Conservatives not losing power
[3] As many have predicted, French control of Suez and close relations between Paris and Istanbul will dramatically change Britain's strategic considerations in terms of its approach to her colonies and what commerce routes are more critical
The Grand Consensus: The Longstreet Machine, Reconciliation and the Dawn of the 20th Century in Dixie
"...for Longstreet the first year was one spent pursuing his legislative program and setting in place the foundations of the coming Grand Consensus, nearly two decades of political stability under an effective single-party state administered by the newborn Democratic Party of the Confederate States. If the first act of Longstreet's political life had been defined by the bloody struggle for independence, the postbellum economic calamity, and the long decade of depression, paramilitary violence and the fallout from the disastrous Cuban Expedition, the last twenty-five years of his life would be defined by his historic Presidency from 1880 to 1886 followed by a period of elder statesmanship as what became known as the "President emeritus" in Richmond circle. As he and Vice President Augustus Garland were inaugurated, Longstreet spent his first weeks in office delving deep into the records of the executive branch after the departure of President Harris, appalled to discover that the Confederacy's ruinous public finances - already a problem two terms earlier when President Forrest had entered office - had only worsened and that the country was teetering on the edge of a public default. Furthermore, upon inspecting it further with his Secretary of the Treasury Fitzhugh Lee and former esteemed Treasurer, now Senator, John Henninger Reagan, the massive corruption pursued by the Tennessee Clique of Harris specifically and the Kuklos Klan generally became even more obvious. Months would be spent on one of the first forensic accounting campaigns in modern history, and Longstreet requested permission to address the Confederate Congress that spring in an unprecedented move, one derided by his opponents as "imperial in nature, Napoleonic in its character."

In his speech in May of 1880 Longstreet declared, "our nation sits upon the knife's edge of solvency; indebted to the banks of Paris and London, we lack the resources to continue to pay them. In the event of a default, we become a state not unlike pre-Imperial Mexico or the strife-filled republics of South America, and to descend into the chaos that typifies those mestizo states we would become overnight the embarrassment of the Saxon civilization. Having always believed that the Confederate States holds a nobler path deigned out by its Ceator, of the supremacy of the white race and a lodestar for the Christian world [1], it is time for this nation to be a nation, not merely a collection of disparate states, and forge forward in unity for our people to sustain their God-given path!"

The Grand Consensus was largely born out of that speech - Longstreet's political program, and that of the Democrats writ large, would be to build a network of state party machines run by prominent planter families and buffeted through a neo-Jacksonian patronage program that devolved straight to the white male voting population, particularly yeoman farmers, through a focus on internal improvements. The impressive growth of the city of Birmingham in Alabama - at the intersection of two major competing railroads and previously undiscovered iron and coal deposits, it would boom in the 1880s as a new mecca for Dixie's small but growing industrial base, particularly advantaged by a strategic position near existing growing industry in Nashville and its strategic proximity to ports on the Cumberland, Mississippi as well as Mobile on the Gulf - was used by Longstreet and his successors as an argument for ending the Confederate Constitution's ban on financing of internal improvements, as though Birmingham had grown thanks to the Louisville & Nashville Rail Road's investments, much of the railroad stock in the Confederacy was French or British owned and river barges still provided much of the nation's infrastructure. On this front, Longstreet created a two-pronged approach - a two-year, grueling campaign of arm-twisting and public pressure campaigns waged via the growing telegraph network and appearances by the President, Vice President and various other supporters in town squares and saloons to campaign for the "nickel levy" - a five cent tax on cotton, tobacco and coal exports, a small number that would effect brokers little (Longstreet's experience in the mercantile world lent to his calculation of this number with Lee) to use for improving the military and stabilizing the nation's finances lest Britain or France intervene with force, a project Longstreet knew would entice the Union's attention. The other was a campaign, just as difficult, to pursue a constitutional amendment - what would be the Confederacy's first since her Constitution was passed in 1861 - to end the prohibition on federally-financed "internal improvements" and allow such projects to be paid for with the revenues from tariffs and other sources. This, of course, would require state legislatures, which under the Confederate Constitution had to present all potential amendments to a convention of the states.

The project to create a constellation of friendly, organized state legislators, generally with patronage-happy planters as party bosses, and thus create a bloc of friendly Senators and Representatives in Richmond [2] who would not care much about what their friends in the states got up to, was also driven by what became known as the Impeachment Wars in later years. Using the provision of the Confederate Constitution that allowed state legislators to impeach federal officials serving in their states [3], Longstreet set about a quiet campaign to cull patronage positions in states where he had friendly legislatures - which was quite a number, due to the caustic relationship between the more genteel state assemblies and Klan chapters that had run amok under the Harris administration - particularly targeting customs house inspectors, Confederate marshals, and most importantly federal judges, using the records of the Forrest/Harris years to wage an anti-graft campaign partially inspired by the corruption crusades of reformers in the Union, where Longstreet still had a number of friends thanks to his time as a New Orleans cotton broker. With his longstanding Presidency of the Society of Confederate Veterans the Democratic Party had a quick and easy list of potential supporters to draw from and their own volunteer base to steer into state militias that set about aggressively crushing both Klan chapters and anti-centralist Red Scarves, promising to end the political paramilitary violence that had plagued the Deep South since the late 1860s. By the midway point of Longstreet's term the Klan had been effectively defanged as a political force, and even his former rival Jubal Early's forays into attempting to form his own private militia in the runup to 1885 went nowhere.

Longstreet would wait until 1881 for his next pledge, under a new Union administration [4] - the project to "reconcile our two states, not cousins but brothers within the Saxon civilization," in what would end the era of Rapprochement and kick off the Great Reconciliation, temporary as it may have been in the end..."

- The Grand Consensus: The Longstreet Machine, Reconciliation and the Dawn of the 20th Century in Dixie (Howard Jones, 1987)

[1] Longstreet was a postwar pragmatist/scapegoat, not an abolitionist or opponent of the plantocracy (of which he was in fact a member!), and this textbook does not have a neutral authorial voice
[2] If this sounds like a 19th-century version of PRI Mexico, you are not wrong (it's also basically the OTL Southern Democrats, for what its worth)
[3] This is 100% real. When I read about this I thought "hoo boy how will I use this? Too good to pass up!"
[4] 1880 elections coming up soon, and a very different result in terms of a Longstreet Presidency than TL-191, which I am aiming in some ways to subvert with this TL.
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The Age of the Railroad
"...but for Leland Stanford, perhaps only second in the public imagination behind Rockefeller of Standard Oil as the Gilded Age robber baron to dwarf all others, the new decade marked a time of tremendous expansion and rivalry. A devoted and committed Liberal and former politician himself, Central Pacific's chairman from his perch in San Francisco continued to oversee a dramatic expansion of his main rail concern's footprint along the West Coast, signing a lease with Mexico's government to extend rail across the border from San Diego to Ensenada and build a rail junction across the Colorado Delta to Nogales and from there south to Guaymas, known as the Mexican Pacific Railroad and to have half of her investors from the Mexican aristocracy. [1] The early 1880s would bring with them new opportunities for Stanford's monopoly as well, as the Topeka & Santa Fe railroad finally extended out of New Mexico to meet the CPR in what is today Barstow, thus providing the north-south trunk route a second transcontinental connection and diminishing the railroad's reliance on the Union Pacific.

Central Pacific would not have the West Coast monopoly to itself much longer, though. As the Union began to exit the Great Depression in the late 1870s, construction began in earnest again on the Northern Pacific and Great Northern railroads that would connect the Midwest via a northern route out of Chicago and Minneapolis and through the Dakota and Montana territories towards Puget Sound. For Stanford, the potential arrival of these railroads meant even more business, and so his efforts to push the Central Pacific all the way to Portland on the Columbia River began in earnest. All over the sparsely settled frontier, as the railroad boom started to pick up again with the inflationary money supply from the Hendricks administration and increased immigration of both European settlers and Chinese coolie labor, new towns sprung up to take advantage of potential mining lodes and new methods to get the resources discovered across the burgeoning "Wild West" to the industrial markets of the East.

To the north, the new decade would bring a substantial promise in Canada, where the Canadian Pacific Railroad was nearing completion, and with it, the ability for the British Dominion to begin settling its own frontier more effectively, connect its budding industry in Ontario and Quebec to Britain's Asian colonies via the port at Vancouver, and tie the country under one banner fully [2]..."

- The Age of the Railroad

[1] Should be pointed out - the secession of the CSA means no Southern Pacific, so the Central Pacific and thus Leland Stanford are more important on railroad infrastucture ITTL
[2] Recall that Canada has pursued a more centralized approach under the MacDonald and Tupper Tories than in OTL, out of concern for the rising hegemon to their South
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The Lion in Latin America: Britain's Role in the Spanish New World
"...Granville's diplomats grew alarmed over saber rattling on both sides of the conflict; Chile's amphibious landings had effectively eradicated Peruvian and Bolivian forces in most of the Atacama, the naval blockade and shelling of Peruvian ports had now brought Spain to the brink of joining the conflict, and other powers - most notably the United States and France - were furious over Chile's policing of the southern shore of the Panama Isthmus and her seizing merchant vessels using the Panama Railway to search for potential contraband. Chile's attacks across the Cabarones into Tacna and Arica in late 1879 which eradicated the regular armies and left Peru and Bolivia essentially without land forces, and the defense of the rest of Peru uncertain, was the impetus for British intervention. Fearing that Spain would declare war on Chile to enforce a status quo ante, Britain sailed a substantial naval force around Cape Horn and anchored in Valparaiso, bringing with it a proposal that marked a substantial win for Chile and yet would bring an end to fighting. The proposed Treaty of Santiago would require Chile to withdraw south of the Cabarones - a river previously understood as a Spanish redline - and bring about a ceasefire. The end result would be new borders that favored Chile, with Bolivia ceding her littoral department and Peru ceding her lands south of the Cabarones (the Tarapaca Province taken in the first Chilean campaign in 1879), thus keeping the ports of Arica and Tacna intact. The indemnities paid by both Bolivia and Peru would be considerably smaller than those Chile preferred, but it was nevertheless a rousing victory for Santiago. Spain signalled acquiescence to this program, Chile endorsed it, and Peru begrudgingly went along after receiving a nudge from her Spanish and American patrons. Only Bolivia complained at what came to be known as the British Betrayal, and the country was left landlocked, diplomatically isolated and economically ruined for generations by losing her outlet to the sea and resource-rich littoral.

For Britain, it was a way to prevent a general war that could drag in other powers, not only Spain but potentially also Argentina, the United States and Mexico. For all but Chile, it was seen as a general negative. Maximilian in Mexico had hoped Chile's victory would confer his own burgeoning empire more power and a free hand in Central America by forming a Pacific naval axis to control commerce along the South American west coast, a preview of the 20th Century's Bloc Sud [1]. The United States, alarm was raised over Chile's expanding Naval power and efforts to match her with a proper Pacific Fleet were redoubled after the 1880 elections. Spain and France were both agitated, and for once united in common cause, over British seizure of influence and new spheres of influence in the New World. And Chile's neighbors were even more leery of her now - the victory in the Saltpeter War led to a British-brokered boundary treaty between Chile and Argentina in 1881 that delineated Patagonia south of the Rio Deseado as Chilean territory [2]. This granted Santiago control of both coasts of the Southern Cone in its extremity, giving it even more naval power projection and hardening Buenos Aires' opposition to her neighbors and inspiring a century of further boundary disputes. Britain, of course, was pleased with this outcome - in Chile it now had a reliable partner in the New World, both commercially and strategically, a tertiary-tier naval force that it could sponsor and rely upon to keep watch over a critical Great Cape and keep trade lanes open in a part of the world where London and the Royal Navy had no substantial presence..."

- The Lion in Latin America: Britain's Role in the Spanish New World

[1] Massive jump ahead, obviously.
[2] Very different outcome from OTL
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The Eaglet Takes Flight: The Reign of Napoleon IV 1874-1905
" 1880, what would be later known as the Belle Epoque was in full swing but also only just beginning, as France's most prosperous decade was at the verge of commencing. Ambition and excitement was in the air in every French city, and for the first time even the quasi-revolutionary anti-monarchist intellectuals and students in Paris seemed content. The middle class expanded; there were nearly twice as many factories in 1880 as there were in 1875 despite France's emergence from the Great Depression, where she was possibly the country least effected. New banks and business frequently opened, streets were paved in French towns, and the rail system would continue to expand at a pace only otherwise seen in the United States and Germany, far less settled industrial states. No city was as transformed as Marseille; for centuries France's dominant Mediterranean port, the city now entered a golden era for both the industrial working class and enterprising bourgeoisie as France's command of the Suez Canal created millions of francs in trade with Asia flowing directly into the port, as well as trade from other Mediterranean states - prominently, otherwise politically opposed states such as Spain and Italy, and France was Europe's premier investor in the Ottoman Empire, where trade through Beirut, Halep and Alexandria would only further bolster Marseille's coffers. The Crédit Maritime [1] bank in that city became one of the biggest insurance underwriters and investors in global trade, and soon the "voile d'or" (Golden Sail) had offices in cities from Tangiers to Tokyo. France's birth rate increased in the 1880s for the first time, and it was one of the only European states that had minimal outmigration, even attracting migrants from Italy, Spain and the Christians from the Levant.

The turn of the decade became the starting point for the paternalistic domestic policy of Napoleon IV, as well. Inspired by his pregnant Empress and Catholic lay organizations, that summer during a celebration for veterans of the Korean Campaign, he debuted what would come to be known as the National Contract. In his address, the Eaglet stated, "You have given to France her prosperity, her peace, and her pride - now let her give you something more than just a country." The essence of the National Contract was that of paternal conservatism; to ward off the ascendant liberal ideas of the independent self and personal freedom, or the socialist maxims of class struggle against capitalism, the "conservative state" would purchase the loyalty of its citizens via a safety net. Such ideas would be aped across Europe and the New World over the next several decades, and indeed Napoleon was inspired by similar legislation under the liberal conservative regime of Francisco Serrano in Spain. The thrust of the plan was old age pensions for workers as well as a firm regulation of working hours, both introduced in the loyalist National Assembly in 1880. In future years, Napoleon would push, and his advisors begrudgingly accept, a state-administered accident and sickness insurance program that placed no limitations or imposition on employers. It would not take long thereafter for Bismarck, in his final years as Germany's Chancellor [2], to pursue similar welfare laws to head off the siren song of socialism, and in Britain the Tories would settle upon a paternalistic alliance with the working class as an attempt to regain relevancy in light of the ascendancy of the Liberals there..."

- The Eaglet Takes Flight: The Reign of Napoleon IV 1874-1905

[1] Fictional creation of mine
[2] Indeed Bismarckian paternalism is the inspiration for this program
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Old Bull: Francisco Serrano and Modern Spain
"...though the popular vote margin was nowhere near as commanding as those post-Cuba and Carlist victory highs as in 1875, and that National Liberals ceded four seats in the Cortes to the Conservatives of Canovas and seven to the Radicals of Zorilla, the "great center" of the Old Bull held. Spain's economy was growing, the state had seen tremendous peace, and the fracas of the Spanish Insult in Potsdam was forgotten by the time Spanish voters went to the polls to peacefully elect another National Liberal cabinet under Serrano in October of 1885. Of course, there was more to it than that - Socialists, formally forbidden from electoral activity, began their first agitations for a secret ballot and direct representation rather than indirect provincial slates; the "caciques," party bosses who controlled patronage and votes, only grew more powerful in the preceding and succeeding years and their corrupt influence would prove a malign force in the Spanish polity; and even within the National Liberals, a big tent party if there ever was one, rumors began to spread about Serrano's diminishing mental capacity, particularly the near-miss war with France. But, overall, it marked another triumph for liberal, centralist and constitutional Spain. Leopold was a popular national symbol, the ranks of urban dwellers and migrants from Cuba and the other Caribbean provinces filled growing factories, the press was increasingly free and culture flourished alongside the rising tide of prosperity, and even the most reactionary elements of Spanish society, particularly those in Vizcaya and the ultramontanist hierarchy of the Church, were reconciled to a modern Spain that sought to look out across the Atlantic at her old dominions as new partners and markets for her wares..."

- Old Bull: Francisco Serrano and Modern Spain


Quick question will there ever a World War I and a World War II similar to OTL with some differences.
Quick question will there ever a World War I and a World War II similar to OTL with some differences.

Thats way too far ahead for me to answer and a massive spoiler either as a yes or a no.

Generally, I plan about 5-10 years in advance in terms of what will happen in this TL, and leave it murky past that (though I have a rough head canon of US/CS Presidents thru about 1920)


Thats way too far ahead for me to answer and a massive spoiler either as a yes or a no.

Generally, I plan about 5-10 years in advance in terms of what will happen in this TL, and leave it murky past that (though I have a rough head canon of US/CS Presidents thru about 1920)
So Rugby and Baseball will be the two most popular sports in America and Confederacy respectively. I've seen it mentioned in this timeline. Rugby in North America I guess is a composite of the Union version and Gridiron Football in terms of rules and fields.

Since Richmond is the capital of the Confederate States and with the national government's firm control over it my guess is that the Commonwealth of Virginia will have to select a new capital which is likely Charlottesville given its prominence as the home of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Plantation and left relatively unscathed not to mention the University of Virginia (aka the Cavaliers). Williamsburg despite being the original capital will not be chosen since it's too close to the sea and was besieged by American forces.
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So Rugby and Baseball will be the two most popular sports in America and Confederacy respectively. I've seen it mentioned in this timeline. Rugby in North America I guess is a composite of the Union version and Gridiron Football in terms of rules and fields.

Since Richmond is the capital of the Confederate States and with the national government's firm control over it my guess is that the Commonwealth of Virginia will have to select a new capital which is likely Charlottesville given its prominence as the home of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Plantation and left relatively unscathed.

Sort of. My plan was to import rugby union wholesale, ruleswise, and have it hold a cultural position even more prominent than gridiron football. There’ll be a basketball butterfly/replacement later too.

I may not have mentioned it in the text itself but my canon has always been that Williamsburg - the old colonial capital - is the state capital of Virginia. If it wasn’t mentioned before, it just was now


Sort of. My plan was to import rugby union wholesale, ruleswise, and have it hold a cultural position even more prominent than gridiron football. There’ll be a basketball butterfly/replacement later too.

I may not have mentioned it in the text itself but my canon has always been that Williamsburg - the old colonial capital - is the state capital of Virginia. If it wasn’t mentioned before, it just was now
Quite frankly Williamsburg is far too close to the sea and was besieged by the Americans. Charlottesville is a much safer option and it has history on its side as being the home of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Plantation and the University of Virginia Cavaliers.
Quite frankly Williamsburg is far too close to the sea and was besieged by the Americans. Charlottesville is a much safer option and it has history on its side as being the home of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Plantation and the University of Virginia Cavaliers.

However, Williamsburg is halfway between Richmond and the Hampton Roads, the most critical population centers of Virginia
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