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The Prussia of the West
" the time the conservative Manuel Baquedano was elected President, the Congress of Chile had already begun considerations of how to further enhance their Navy, for upon his inauguration protected cruisers similar to Esmeralda were being laid down and built for other world powers, designs even more advanced. Having now outclassed Peru at sea and embarrassed the Americans, there was a patriotic fervor in the country that skewed optimistic and even arrogant. There were many who even thought the war should have continued, and that Chile had conceded too much at Britain's behest - nevertheless, with the treasury flowing from Chile's emerging saltpeter monopoly and new investments streaming into the country, as well as a small gold rush in the Tierra del Fuego, it was a time of tremendous cheer and national energy. New railroads were laid down, new factories opened, a country modernizing more rapidly than it could ever have expected.

Argentina, for its part, viewed Chile's efforts to replenish and expand her Navy with alarm; a Chile now ever more confident could desire ever more of Patagonia. For the first time, naval considerations became part of Buenos Aires' long-term thinking; the South American naval arms race was soon to kick off in earnest..."

- The Prussia of the West [1]

[1] Title of this entry inspired by a comment from @Couperin
- The Matriach: Empress Margarita Clementina and the Emergence of a Modern Mexico
Interesting! I've got the feeling, Margarita could eventually become someone so significant for CdM!Mexico like Victoria was in OTL for the British.

- The Prussia of the West [1]
Nice title! Although it would be funny, having a more biased source like "Chilean Empire: Best Empire" or "You're not Chilean? Then it sucks to be you!"
Interesting! I've got the feeling, Margarita could eventually become someone so significant for CdM!Mexico like Victoria was in OTL for the British.

Nice title! Although it would be funny, having a more biased source like "Chilean Empire: Best Empire" or "You're not Chilean? Then it sucks to be you!"
She'll be a blend of Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother, and Netherlands' Queen Emma, for lack of a better way to put it

To be fair, the Chilean army is notable for having based much of its organization on the Prussians, and much of this influence can be seen in the fact that its drills use the Pickelhaube and Stahlhelm to this day. Given, much of this implementation happened post-Pacific War, but I still think of Chile being a Prussian remnant at least in military outfits.
Ah that makes sense! I just thought it was a really cool description, and it worked well for the title!
Frederick and Victoria: Consorts of Germany
"...despite being an age of technological innovation - it was in 1886 after all that Benz would invent the first prototype of what can be considered the modern automobile - there were still some old fashioned habits in Germany, rearing its head most profoundly when Ludwig II was deposed suddenly for "madness" in Bavaria. Frederick was appalled and quietly reached out to Prince Luitpold to intervene - alas, the Bavarians were adamant, and Frederick paled at the thought that the German Landtags still held so much power..."

- Frederick and Victoria: Consorts of Germany

(Just trying to think what the reaction of Germany to the Bavarian coup of 1886 was in the context of a post-Waldersee Putsch world)
Id be curious to see if anybody has done this before, and at what level of detail
I just finished reading a ww3 time line (1988-1991), with South America having there own fronts, with Brasil/Argentina/Bolivia/Ecuador and Uruguay on the Soviet site and trying to conquer the rest of the continent.

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When and if World War I ever does occur in Cinco De Mayo, it will be very different in terms of length and after-effects.

As of right now I’d be more interested in writing multiple mini-WW1s around the same time than one single Great War, but lots of runway (and lots of room for leaders to fuck things up) until such a time when a conflict of that scale becomes realistic


So you’re right! It’ll be very different, no matter what occurs (and we def won’t be getting a cliche CP USA/Entente CSA)
Britain, France, and Russia up against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. Italy and a few others may lean for either side while the USA and the CSA will stay neutral barring any Zimmerman Telegram-style incident.
The Dragon Stirs: The Qing Dynasty under the Guangxu Emperor
"...the humiliation at sea, in particular, empowered Li in his push for reform. After years of resisting any innovation that smacked of Western influence, Li unveiled an ambitious agenda which he termed the "Harmonious New Self-Strengthening Reform" [1] . Much of it of course was stillborn and, in Li's typical fashion, just a radical cover for ideas he wanted to sneak past without resistance. Cixi was skeptical of many proposals but handwaved many of them; her priority, as it was Li's, was to avoid the kind of military debacle that had occurred against France. The provincial armies were consolidated into a single command with the Central War Council, which also oversaw the four fleets of the Qing Navy via a Naval Council. Both of these councils would have five members - the fifth vote, the tiebreaker, would be a Minister of War, creating a new military bureaucracy centralizing Chinese forces under Peking's undisputed command. The Self-Strengthening Reform would also lead to the foundation of a naval academy in Fuzhou as well as two staff colleges, one in Wuhan and one in Kunming. German advisors were brought in to suggest reforms to the army command structure and modernize the drills - this more than anything led to resistance from the conservative elite.

Other suggestions ran into roadblocks, as Li anticipated and accepted. The introduction of agricultural schools and more math and science instruction in urban schools was tepidly received, as was the establishment of Peking University; sending more Chinese abroad to study and abolishing sinecures and the traditional exams were met with outright hostility. In this sense, Li's reforms were little more than an overhaul of the dated decentralized military command structure in response to the losses in the Treaty of Tientsin, well within the bounds of the earlier Self-Strength Movement that had begun after the last humiliation at European hands..."

- The Dragon Stirs: The Qing Dynasty under the Guangxu Emperor

[1] Idk this just sounds like a super Chinese thing to call it, any better suggestions and I am all ears!
Cathedrals of Learning: University in the United States
"...the second Morrill Act was not as radical as the version that established America's great land-grant institutions but was perhaps more far-reaching in its doubling down on the liberal precept that "an learned society is a republican society." Paired with the establishment of the Office of Education Statistics, which would compile statistics on literacy, curricula and math competency on behalf of Congress and the individual states, it was part of a push that included the elite idealism of mass literacy, of a generation of schoolchildren taught in the latest pedagogical concepts and skills. The land grant universities were given another infusion of money to expand their campuses and student bodies, and to enhance the courses they could teach; the preceding universities not established under the 1862 Act were eligible for more funding as well. One advantage of the 1886 Act was that it presented colleges with cash rather than land, and in the great federalist system allowed various states and universities room to innovate and experiment, from hiring professors with radical theories on teaching various subjects that had entered ossified stagnation to dramatically reducing tuition to make attendance affordable to a larger body of the public. The Act also provided for the establishment of agricultural experiment stations and "learning cooperatives," in order to more easily disseminate the techniques and sciences invented and pursued at the major institutions to individual farmers. As the West continued to fill up with homesteaders, this transference of knowledge as a public good reinforced bonds between farm labor and the state; it also increasingly raised the expectations of the farmer that the government would look out for his interests.

As the campuses of America's universities grew [1], so did interest - invariably from the Liberal Party - in making sure that the young scholars who would eventually walk those halls were better prepared for such. Thusly, if the Blaine Presidency has any longstanding legacy, it was the fundamental reorientation of the relationship between Congress and the states when it came to primary and secondary education. Finances for public schools ballooned, with hundreds of new county schools built in rural areas and "city classes" built in the burgeoning urban environment. Part of this was tied to the liberal ethos of literacy and education; part of it was also tied to a belief that the growing immigrant communities could only become reliable members of a republican society if they learned English and assimilated into broader American society [2]. This is best and most darkly demonstrated by the provisions in the Dawes Act of 1887 requiring assimilation of the American Indian into the mainstream, through mission schools and the like. What passed as progressive education in the 1880s would shock many today..."

- Cathedrals of Learning: University in the United States

[1] Lets be clear though - it's still a pretty small segment of the population attending college in the 1880s, obviously
[2] Again, it's the 1880s
Titan: The Life and Presidency of James G. Blaine
"...the push for more schools may be the essence of mid-1880s "good government liberalism" when tied to civil service reform; Blainism, in a sense, imagined a nationalism of republican virtue, of an aspirational state founded upon mutual trust between public and government, a literate society that could debate and understand the issues of the day, and a thriving entrepreneurial capitalism that encouraged the growth of enterprises big and small. The America of James Blaine was one to be envied abroad and which would, through its economic, diplomatic and cultural might, dominate the Western Hemisphere (a Navy that dwarfed all her South American peers would not hurt either). In that sense, Blaine's vision for the Liberal Party stood in direct contrast to the ascendant, dominant Democratic Party that had entrenched itself south of the Ohio; first under James Longstreet and now Lucius Lamar, the Democrats of the Confederacy were rigid, oligarchic, and stagnant, an institution where decisions from the Confederate Congress down to county officers were decided in vague, illicit dealings based on undemocratic connections. Blainism was firmly egalitarian; in his protégé John Hay he saw the distilled essence of a man who came from abject poverty and was able to become one of America's great wealthy businessmen and influential statesmen (some luck in hitching his horse to the Lincoln wagon early surely helped). Blaine took the rare view of the time that the rising tide of immigrants - Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia, Germans, Hungarians and Italians from otherwise peaceful states seeking better wages, Irish refugees of the Land War and British oppression, Serbs, Bulgarians, Syriacs and Greeks fleeing the vise of the Turkish Sultan - could create not just a pool of laborers for the booming American industry but also future Americans, if taught republican values diligently. In a correspondence with Hay, who was much more a skeptic on such matters than Blaine, the President declared boldly: "We judge not those who arrive upon our shores by the societies and circumstances from which they came, but by the caliber of Americans they can become."

But such pushes did not come without a cost. The Morrill Act and educational financing for primary schools pushed hard by Senator Garfield added further payments to the already ballooning budget that was to pay for internal improvements, new civil service bureaus which invariably hired educated experts and the post-Chilean American War "New Navy;" the Democratic campaigns that summer derided the "Billion Dollar Congress," especially in tandem with rioting laborers and mass direct action in what became known as the Strikeout Summer. The 49th Congress was easily painted as a group of wealthy Liberals spending on fancy ships and more money for their children to attend universities; Democratic campaigns emphasized such caricatures to a high degree. That trade in the Pacific was still not recovered from the previous year's war meant that the breakneck economic growth of Blaine's first term had slowed; along with the Strikeout Summer, it seemed plain that the 1886 elections would not favor the incumbents. In one of his last acts with control of both houses of Congress, Blaine signed off on the accession of Dakota as a state..."

- Titan: The Life and Presidency of James G. Blaine
I wonder if the greater acceptance of immigrants by the Blaine administration, as well as the repressive policies of the Ottomans, will lead to a greater Orthodox population in the US. Maybe we could see a Greek, Serbian, or Bulgarian Senator or even President in the distant future?
O Imperio do Futuro: The Rise of Brazil
"...Pedro Augusto had to be talked down more than once in those heady days of regency from seizing the crown for himself from his eleven-year old cousin. Army officers, particularly those of the landed class, whispered in his ear that he should do it posthaste; naval officers and conservative members of parliament who knew of O Preferido's musings worked hard to dissuade him. Any time Empress Dowager Isabella irritated the prince, thoughts of banishing her line of the family from Brazil returned; it was always up to Dowager Teresa Cristina, his stubborn and dutiful grandmother, to talk her favorite grandson off the ledge. His brother Augusto Leopoldo left for naval duties in 1886 and his other brother Jose Fernando left to study in his father's native Germany, leaving the Prince ever isolated within his family; he began to ponder marriage, but was still not ready to give up the lavish and laviscious lifestyle that bachelorhood afforded him in burgeoning Rio de Janeiro. "The palace is both temple and prison," he wrote in his diary. "I cannot be happy here; I have the power of an Emperor, but I have no crown. They laugh at me; I know they laugh at me."

For Sousa Dias and his Conservatives in Parliament, the situation served them well - economic growth powered on, the Army had been sated with pay hikes to buy their loyalty for some time, and the infighting within the Imperial family meant that the risk of a strong monarch, either in the form of an Isabella controlling affairs through the young and lazy Emperor or an ambitious O Preferido on the throne himself. Ironically, for all the machinations between the Leopoldine Palace and the Imperial Palace that threatened to throw the Empire into crisis in the 1880s, the Triple Regency probably did more to salve the wounds of Pedro II's involvement in state affairs and entrenched the concept of a purely constitutional monarchy and Parliamentary government in Brazil..."

- O Imperio do Futuro: The Rise of Brazil (Burlingame Books - Nonfiction, 2007)
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