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Citizen Hearst
"...his first taste of politics after those aimless yeas at Pacific American in San Francisco came with following his father to the convention in Chicago, where Hearst preferred the home-state Rosecrans in contrast to the Senator, who was a Custer man. What his father saw in the former general soon became plain to young William; he saw the way Custer worked the delegates on the floor and in meetings with state delegations, and was awed by his first address to the convention, the now-infamous "Cry of the Common Man." The rage and fury of Western alienation manifested itself in Custer's words, allaying fears of the California delegation that he would be yet another disappointment, as in his excoriation of "trusts and monopolies" as well as "the common stock of corporations printed in ink drawn from the sweat of the common man who toils for their value" he struck a nerve in their grievances, further entrenched as he darkly proclaimed to thunderous applause: "the Chinese cannot be assimilated and are dangerous to the general warfare and to peaceful society" [1]. The demagogic excess, the populist flourishes, the way the crowd responded with roars of approvals - Custer's nomination gave Hearst his first taste of what politics could be, as opposed to the stolid and oft-corrupt collegiality he had sensed from his father's tenure in the Senate, and more than anything, provided him his template of how a politician should behave..."

- Citizen Hearst (University of Pennsylvania, 2005)

[1] Paraphrased from Grover Cleveland's remarks at the 1888 Convention
The Aspirants: The Rise of the Liberal Party of the United States
" became clear even before the Liberals gathered in Philadelphia, for a convention steeped in imagery of the Constitutional Convention and American liberty, that the appetite for nominating Acting President Ingalls for a proper term was virtually nonexistent. Ingalls himself decided to adhere to precedent and instead elected to summer on the Jersey Shore with a stack of books, his family and a telegraph line nearby to stay up to date on what was ongoing just a few hours by train away; in his autobiography, Ingalls stated, "I shall let any man who would speak for me do so, but I shall not be that man; if the Party wills my presence on a ticket, any ticket, I shall humbly acquiesce. If they will otherwise, I shall understand as best I can."

Instead, the buzz in the convention hall was instead around a cast of potentials. Former Treasury Secretary John Sherman was pushed by his supporters, most notably Ohio banker Mark Hanna, as the choice of the hour. Sherman was an elder statesman, deeply respected within the party and stated to be "a prudent steward of the public purse," hearkening back to one of Blaine's original campaign themes. The late President's shadow hung over the convention in other ways - most prominently due to his ideological protege and long-preferred successor, John Hay, and his own ambitions. The Ohio delegation was split on the matter of Hay, who maintained residences in two states in addition to his lavish home in the capital and seemed to command loyalty among a vast array of party officials for his loyalty to Blaine; as the convention dawned, the nomination was widely seen as his to lose.

Nevertheless, there were other contestants. As Hay and Sherman's delegates began to work the crowd, some Midwestern delegates unimpressed with Sherman's speaking abilities or Hay's longstanding controversial notoriety in the public mind began to push for Senator Garfield to instead take the mantle; Garfield, in a stirring address, shocked the convention when he declared that he would not accept a place upon the ballot, either atop the ticket or as a running mate: "I absolve myself of the awesome fear of the task before us by stating now, unequivocally, that I shall refuse any effort to place my name in contention; let instead my service in uniting this convention around the eventual standard bearer come from other means." A backup Ohioan dropping off the ballot complicated matters as it became increasingly clear on the convention floor that Sherman could not win a majority. Hay looked ready to surge ahead as it appeared that Northeastern delegates were starting to tip his direction; Joseph Foraker, Ohio's governor who was in attendance at the convention, started to become the focus of a draft movement by Hanna and some Sherman delegates, but equivocated at the crucial hour, leery of crossing Sherman's powerful machine, but also worried of missing his opportunity for the Presidency. Mere hours of hemming and hawing by Foraker, at a moment that anti-Hay forces were scrambling led Hanna to abandon him and instead push the Ohio delegation into the arms of a dark horse candidate - Governor Benjamin Harrison of Indiana [1], a Presbyterian minister and former Union general..."

- The Aspirants: The Rise of the Liberal Party of the United States

[1] Harrison here having served as Governor from 1884 rather than as a Senator as in OTL
The Cornerstone: John Hay and the Foundation of American Global Prestige
"...the sudden collapse of his fortunes in Philadelphia shocked Hay, who had delivered an address only the day before the convention before a crowd of enthusiastic delegates on the constitutional convention, presaging his Centennial Addresses of the next year. Hay learned that it was Hanna who had knifed him, ostensibly over their rivalry for control of the Ohio Liberal Party; Foraker was a man Hay liked and could have tolerated, but Harrisons' emergence from the bottom of the ballot lines to vaulting ahead suddenly stunned him. As Hay's lieutenants worked the floor, he learned that Abraham Lincoln - now nearly 80 but still game to attend and rub elbows at a raucous convention - did not intend to make an endorsement, as was his custom but which he had hoped his mentor would break out of respect for his former private secretary. The Lincolns hosted Hay at their Philadelphia hotel that night where Abraham implored him to accept the defeat graciously, "as I once did to Stephen Douglas."

The next day, Harrison secured enough delegates to win, his having been born in Ohio even though he was an Indianan through and through being good enough for the Hanna operation. [1]
Hay, distraught, nevertheless remained at the convention to see William Walter Phelps of New Jersey selected as the running mate for the ticket, rather than Whitelaw Reid, whom Hay had gently suggested to the Harrison camp could help secure New York. Hay was embittered, not by Harrison, whom he liked, but by Hanna, whom he never forgave for what he saw as the denial of his long-awaited quest for the White House, and a chance to conquer "that crude, vain, flamboyant Custer, that demagogic minstrel himself." A Hay-Custer contest was one he had strongly desired, and now would never secure. As the convention concluded, he and Clara rode the train back to Cleveland, flustered and spent, unsure what would come next and what role they would have not just in the coming heat of a campaign between Harrison and Custer but in the future of the Liberal Party and public service more generally..."

- The Cornerstone: John Hay and the Foundation of American Global Prestige

[1] This was much the same as Hanna consoled himself with in 1888 when Sherman floundered at that convention.
Maximilian of Mexico
"...the new constitution and decline in caudillo personalism worked in tandem with rising literacy and a flourishing press (albeit one that in the Altiplano hewed to a very pro-Imperial line); new periodicals and dailies such as El Diario, La Voz Nacional, Ahora and La Nueva Mexicana spread rapidly in Guadalajara, Leon, Mexico City, and Puebla, respectively. The children of the immigrants who had flocked to burgeoning Mexico over the last quarter century had been raised in bilingual households, also reading German and Hungarian-language weekly papers in the colonias, and for the growing community of immigrants from the United States, Confederacy and Ireland, the Times of Mexico had a circulation that covered almost all the major cities in the thriving central departments, in contrast with the fiercely localist papers in their home countries. With telegrams, the major papers could quickly disseminate stories to one another, and young unemployed men could earn a living selling papers on sidewalks for a peso apiece or riding to small villages to read and announce the news to illiterate farmers [1].

The increasing sophistication of Mexican society in the Feliciato extended beyond literacy and to its political structures, as the Unión Popular was founded in 1888 as a catch-all political vehicle for the broad, liberal-conservative center that supported the Emperor and had put down the Revolt of the Caudillos. With Zuloaga as its provisional first party president, "La Upe" [2] served as a force both to centralize and professionalize government within the National Assembly and also as a way to start creating a genuine party structure in the provinces, to lower the reliance on local governors appointed at Imperial whim and shift to a more formal system of government. This was met with aplomb with the Altiplanense bourgeois; it was not met kindly by those still struggling after the war.

Indeed, the UP's founding was met with a testy response in both south and north. The Unión Radical was founded in response in 1889, led by the publisher of the regime-skeptical La Patria Ilustrada, Ireneo Paz, [3] and soon becoming a popular catch-all party for dissident forces ranging from Oaxacan aristocrats distasteful of the regime's clear preference for industrialization, to indigenous activists, to anticlerical reformers, to soft Zocalists. In the north, many of the survivors of the Revolt banded together under the Alianza Reformada, or Reformed Alliance, a name chosen specifically to recall the "Northern Alliance" under which they had fought just half a decade prior, creating a bloc vote speaking directly to northern alienation from the Altiplano that continued to fester in the wake of the war. And bubbling under the surface as always were the true revolutionaries who still wedded themselves to republicanism under the tenets of the Plan de Zocalo, who were beginning to veer ever further into tiptoeing towards ideas rooted less in Benito Juarez and more into those of Karl Marx, imported from Europe along with the steady if slightly dwindling stream of Germans and Austrians..."

- Maximilian of Mexico

[1] Yes this is 100% inspired by that Tom Hanks movie that just came out
[2] Based on Spanish pronunciation
[3] Real guy
Zombie Zocalismo
Zombie Zocalismo (Spani: Zocalismo Zombi) is a pejorative term for the 19th century antimonarchist, left-wing ideological movement in Mexico known as Zocalismo, particularly as it related to later laborist and Marxist movements in the 1920s. Coined by Mexican politician Vicente Fox in 2002, the term dismisses Zocalismo during the Feliciato as an undead creature roaming aimlessly, doing little to nothing for ordinary people and living entirely in the past, particularly with its focus on pre-Revolt of the Caudillo politics and grievances.
I was wondering why the confederation didn't use slave labor in the industry, your idea of the workers striking to stop it (cause of the fear of losing jobs) was a nice touch ;)
Chessboard: The Splendid Isolation and British Foreign Policy
"...Germany's cadre of fairly inexperienced diplomats, thrust into duty after the overhaul of their Foreign Ministry following the fall of Bismarck and subsequent housecleaning of his acolytes and re-evaluation of German diplomatic policy, never saw the invisible hand of Britain in a number of its surprising international victories in the late 1880s. Sullen after losing out on Samoa in a gunboat crisis with the United States, Germany had been promised diplomatic support for oriental interests by Salisbury in London in the Samoa Settlement; they could not have expected their fortunes to reverse so suddenly. When Germany seized Nauru and raised her flag there, and established further coaling stations in German New Guinea and the Kaiser Wilhelm Archipelago [1], they were not met with protests from colonial competitors but rather perfunctory congratulations from Britain. German eyes also fell on a protectorate in Tonga, which they began negotiating with Britain over, unaware that British designs continued to push their colonial exploits in directions they desired.

The policy that Salisbury outlined in a secret memo to the Admiralty and the Colonial Office - the first time that Britain would use such a coordinated response across ministries without involving Downing Street - was to use Germany as a "wedge" to pressure France both on the Continent and overseas, without a formal alliance, well aware that a general European war could stymie French colonial ambitions too if there was a peer competitor available to counter France. It was for this reason that continued German investments in Cambodia spilling over into the Siamese buffer state that Britain quietly supported as a bulwark against French Indochina, including the Bangkokbahn that would tie Phnom Penh to Bangkok via railroad, an ambitious project that would revolutionize Southeast Asia (at the price of thousands of lives lost to overworked Khmer laborers who died building the Südostasien Generalgesellschaft's infrastructure developments). And it was further, for this reason, that the Admiralty was unconcerned by Germany's expansion of its cruiser fleet and investments in ports in Douala, Luderitz, and Kampong Som, viewing it as a potential counter for French and Russian naval expansion and confident in its ability to sink the Kaiserliche Marine from Heligoland before it barely had a chance to exit port should it come to it. A German Navy to distract and worry the French became a British strategic instrument, then, as critical to the Royal Navy's strategic planning in the 1890s as the two-power standard that was to be implemented in 1889 - and the main reason why British diplomats, with letters from Salisbury himself, heaped inordinate pressure on the Chinese to grant Germany a concession port, which the Qing Court finally caved and did in signing a generously termed 99-year lease with Germany for Amoy [2] in 1890, to the shock of the Kaiser's naval planners. Little did they know that Salisbury - by then on the verge of leaving the Foreign Office for good as the Tories would be careening towards a thunderous defeat in the wake of the City of London's great financial crisis that year - was jubilant that there would be a growing European cruiser fleet directly across the straits from French Formosa, diminishing the Marine Imperiale's ability to create a chokepoint of north-south sea lanes in the Orient between Korea, Japan and the Russian Far East and points south, in effect denying them "their Malacca"..."

- Chessboard: The Splendid Isolation and British Foreign Policy

[1] Fritz is not naming them after Bismarck anymore for obvious reasons
[2] Archaic name for Xiamen
I was wondering why the confederation didn't use slave labor in the industry, your idea of the workers striking to stop it (cause of the fear of losing jobs) was a nice touch ;)

Thanks! Chattel slavery was generally viewed even in the antebellum era as inefficient in the times it was experimented with, as I recall, but eventually the white working class is going to find a line where they want to protect their own interests even in the plutocratic Confederacy
The Lion of Edinburgh: Prince Arthur, the Empire and the Twilight of the Victorian Age
"...Arthur was as shocked as anyone by the Whitechapel murders that began in 1888 and the way they captured the imagination of the late Victorian public; no such thing had ever occurred before, not even in the impoverished Whitechapel district in the poor East End. That the serial killer responsible was never found, or that he continued to taunt the Metropolitan Police and the Vigilance Committee that searched for him, unnerved Arthur greatly. It also, along with the events of Bloody Sunday the previous November, stirred in him for the first time a class consciousness that he as a royal had never really had. Pondering the type of Britain he wanted his young children to inherit, and appalled at the violence consuming Belgium just across the Channel after the shocking assassination of Leopold II, he began to inch away from his strict Tory sympathies for the first time, and return to his position of empathy he had held in the more turbulent early 1870s, when he had personally helped quiet the Green Park Riot [1]..."

- The Lion of Edinburgh: Prince Arthur, the Empire and the Twilight of the Victorian Age

[1] Going off memory here
Chamberlain's Britain
"...his first travels brought him to Cape Town, where the age of Saul Solomon was coming to an end. Impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of the growing middle class there, he was also treated to a deeper understanding of the tensions between Englishman and Afrikaner in the Cape Colony, and the even further mistrust with the Boers of the Free Republics to the east. Chamberlain mulled traveling to see the business of Johannesburg, in the midst of its great gold boom, but was advised by wealthy planter Cecil Rhodes - a steadfast supporter of Britain's Liberals [1] who nevertheless kept his base in South Africa - not to travel there out of worries of violence of a prominent British official entering tensions between Uitlanders and Boers. Chamberlain marveled at the vast acreages Rhodes controlled under his South African Fruits Company, writing in his journal that "the industrial age will soon move from factory to farm, if what I saw on the Cape is any indication."

Chamberlain's growing appreciation for the Empire continued as he sailed from Durban to Bombay, with brief stops in Madagascar and Zanzibar. In the Raj, he finally had his eyes opened to the Jewel of the Empire, and though he had softened his anti-imperial stance considerably over the previous years it was now that he became a firm imperialist, an advocate for a Greater Britain. India revealed to him the vastness of resources, culture, and manpower available to power the Empire into the next century, what he began to ponder as "Britain's Century," building upon the dominant position London had already established for himself. He finally understood why India was the envy of France and Russia, and why Britain fought so hard to defend it..."

- Chamberlain's Britain

[1] This was a fact that surprised me too, though of course "Liberal" in 1888 has a very different definition than in 2021
The Cornerstone: John Hay and the Foundation of American Global Prestige
"...with New England farming's steep decline, properties such as the Fells on Lake Sunapee were easily bought and refurbished on the cheap; New Hampshire's boosters even encouraged it, pressing for America's wealthy elite to buy up farms to either keep them afloat or use them as country retreats, beginning the boom in New York, Philadelphia and Boston's upper crust having summer homes in the mountains and forests of the upper Northeast. Hay had initially intended to buy such a place for all of the Five Hearts, but with Clover Adams' suicide the Fells instead became a place for him to withdraw to, away from the stresses of Washington and partisan politics. He found himself at the Fells for much of the summer after the Philadelphia convention, in a deep depression, what could best be described as brooding and pondering how what he had foreseen as a clean waltz to the Presidency had been ended by the knives coming out from "the bosses," Hanna in particular. Hay eventually emerged from his seclusion to do his duty as a Liberal in good standing; he had given the second of his "centennial addresses" shortly after arriving from Philadelphia when he had spoken at an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of New Hampshire's ratification of the United States Constitution, speaking at length on its promises of liberty and radicalism of a nation of laws rather than of men, but now he journeyed back out onto the campaign trail on behalf of Harrison. In Hay's view, it was necessary - in the event Harrison won, to have ingratiated himself to the new President would be valuable. If, however, Harrison lost - as Hay expected as he became increasingly frustrated with the disorganized operation being run out of Indiana, Harrison's reluctance to campaign outside of his home state as Custer barnstormed the country to cheering crowds, and finally a massive vote-buying scandal that erupted in the final days of the campaign - it would be critical to point to his efforts as a loyal Liberal, in order to secure support for a possible bid in 1892..."

- The Cornerstone: John Hay and the Foundation of American Global Prestige
The Aspirants: The Rise of the Liberal Party of the United States
"...the revelation of William Dudley's letter to Indiana's county chairmen, encouraging them to have the funds to buy the votes of "floaters" (i.e., undecided swing voters) after dividing them into "blocs of five," enlivened the already-soaring Custer campaign in its last weeks. Democrats distributed the letter across the country, finding it an opportunity to kneecap Harrison in his home state and beyond; it drove the impression that the pious former Presbyterian minister was trying to buy votes, dovetailing with Custer's theme of running against "Liberal hypocrisy" and chicanery. Harrison, who had preferred a front-porch style of campaigning more familiar to the campaigns of 20 years earlier, was caught flat-footed; Custer's horseback rallies left the Democratic "Man from Monroe" and "General Indian Licker" [1] able to reach lots of voters easily and directly while tying into his image of a dashing, chivalrous cavalryman rather than a corrupt capitalist. The gambit worked; the neck-and-neck campaign broke decisively to Custer at the end..."

- The Aspirants: The Rise of the Liberal Party of the United States

[1] "Lick" in the 19th century sense of the word! Haha
1888 United States elections
1888 Presidential Election

193 Electoral votes needed to win (out of 385)

Benjamin Harrison of Indiana/William W. Phelps of New Jersey (Liberal) - 45.5%, 164 Electoral Votes

Pennsylvania - 42
Illinois - 31
Massachusetts - 17
Iowa - 17
Kansas - 11
Maine - 9
Connecticut - 8
Minnesota - 8
Nebraska - 6
New Hampshire -5
Vermont - 5
Rhode Island - 5

George A. Custer of Michigan/David B. Hill of New York (Democrat) - 47.6% Popular Vote, 220 Electoral Votes

New York - 50
Ohio - 30
Missouri - 21
Indiana - 20
Michigan - 17
Wisconsin - 15
New Jersey - 14
California - 11
Maryland - 11
West Virginia - 8
Oregon - 4
Colorado - 4
New Mexico - 3
Nevada - 3
Dakota - 3
Delaware - 3
Washington - 3

Third Parties:

United Labor - 4.1%, 0 Electoral Votes

Granger Union - 1.7%, 0 Electoral Votes

Prohibition Party - 1.1%, 0 Electoral Votes

1888 Senate elections

Despite Custer's late-breaking win, the good economy and sophisticated Liberal turnout operation - as well as a favorable map that did not leave incumbents exposed in states like Wisconsin where Democrats flipped the legislature - no seats exchanged hands, with two retiring Senators replaced by members of their own party. Thanks to Dakota and Washington joining the Union as states, the Senate grew by 4 members, with each party earning two of those seats.

CO: Henry M. Teller (L) Re-Elected
DK: Richard Pettigrew (L) ELECTED
DK (special): Gilbert A. Pierce ELECTED
DE: Eli Saulsbury (D) Re-Elected
IL: Shelby Moore Collum (L) Re-Elected
IA: Samuel Kirkwood (L) Re-Elected
KS: John St. John (L) Re-Elected
ME: William Frye (L) Re-Elected
MA: George Frisbie Hoar (L) Re-Elected
MI: Byron G. Stout (D) Re-Elected
MN: Dwight Sabin (L) DEFEATED for Renomination; William Washburn ELECTED (Liberal Hold)
NE: Charles F. Manderson (L) Re-Elected
NH: Aaron Cragin (L) Retired; William E. Chandler (L) ELECTED (Liberal Hold)
NJ: John R. McPherson (D) Re-Elected
NM: Samuel Beach Axtell (D) Retired; Francisco A. Manzanares (D) ELECTED (Democratic Hold)
OR: La Fayette Grover (D) Re-Elected
RI: Jonathan Chace (L) Re-Elected [1]
WA: George Turner (D) Elected
WA (special): Eugene Semple (D) Re-Elected to Full Term
WV: John E. Kenna (D) Re-Elected

1888 House elections

Democrats romped in the House, picking up a net of 18 seats to grow their majority, and in the subsequent Speaker race putsching out the meandering Levi Lamborn in favor of the more partisan Archibald Bliss of New York, a partisan figure closely aligned with the new Vice President Hill. They defeated 12 Liberal incumbents and took advantage of a working class swing away from United Labor (a small one) to flip 6 seats from the insurgent third party.

51st United States Congress

Senate: 33L-25D

President of the Senate: David B. Hill (D-NY)
Senate President pro tempore: John J. Ingalls (L-KS)
Chairman of the Senate Liberal Conference: William Allison (L-IA)
Chairman of the Senate Democratic Conference: Daniel Voorhees (D-IN)

1. George Hearst (D) (1881-)
3. William Rosecrans (D) (1885-)


2. Henry M. Teller (L) (1876-)
3. Thomas M. Bowen (L) (1885-)

1. Joseph R. Hawley (L) (1881-)
3. Orville Platt (L) (1879-)


2. Richard Pettigrew (L) (188:cool:
3. Gilbert Pierce (L) (188:cool:

1. Thomas Bayard (D) (1869-)
2. Eli Saulsbury (D) (1871-)

2. Shelby Moore Collum (L) (1881-)
3. Richard J. Oglesby (L) (1873-)

1. David Turpie (D) (1887-)
3. Daniel Voorhees (D) (1873-)

2. Samuel Kirkwood (L) (1877-)
3. William Allison (L) (1873-)

2. John St. John (L) (1883-)
3. John Ingalls (L) (1873-)

1. Eugene Hale (L) (1881-)
2. William P. Frye (L) (1881-)

1. William Pinkney Whyte (D) (1869-)
3. Ephraim Wilson (D) (1885-)

1. Henry Dawes (L) (1875-)
2. George Frisbie Hoar (L) (1877-)

1. William C. Maybury (D) (1887-)
2. Byron G. Stout (D) (1865-)

1. Cushman Davis (L) (1887-)
2. William Washburn (L) (1889-)

1. Francis Cockrell (D) (1875-)
3. David H. Armstrong (D) (1877-)

1. Charles Van Wyck (L) (1881-)
2. Charles Manderson (L) (1883-)

1. James Graham Fair (D) (1881-)
3. John P. Jones (D) (1873-)

New Hampshire
2. William Chandler (L) (1889-)
3. Henry Blair (L) (1873-)

New Jersey
1. William McAdoo (D) (1887-)
2. John R. McPherson (D) (1871-)

New Mexico

1. Antonio Joseph (D) (1887-)
2. Francisco A. Manzanares (D) (1889-)

New York
1. Perry Belmont (D) (1887-)
3. Warner Miller (L) (1885-)

1. Benjamin Butterworth (L) (1887-)
3. James A. Garfield (L) (1885-)

2. La Fayette Grover (D) (1871-)
3. James H. Slater (D) (1879-)

1. John I. Mitchell (L) (1881-)
3. J. Donald Cameron (L) (1879-)

Rhode Island
1. William Sprague (L) (1863-)
2. Jonathan Chace (L) (1885-)

1. Redfield Procter (L) (1881-)
3. Justin Smith Morrill (L) (1867-)


2. George Turner (D) (1889-)
3. Eugene Semple (D) (188:cool:

West Virginia
1. Joseph Sprigg (D) (1869-)
2. John E. Kenna (D) (1883-)

1. Philetus Sawyer (L) (1881-)
3. Thaddeus Pound (L) (1881-)

House: 181D-137L-11UL

Speaker of the House: Archibald Bliss (D-NY)
Liberal Caucus Chair (Minority Leader): Thomas Brackett Reed (L-ME)

[1] Turns out Henry B. Anthony had been dead for a few years, whoops!
Leopold often commented on how he was a rigid and cold Swabian in a land of spirited passions
Funny, Maximilian said a similar thing in his personal writings, but in admiration rather than derision.
Though it would take months if not years for them to find their way back to one another, ...they now spent more time together both during the day and the night
What a heart-warming moment. It would have been a shame if one of the few real love stories from that era OTL ended up broken permanently.

In all, things are look to be on the up and up for Mexico. Makes me wonder what immigration will be look like in the future compared to OTL. Being more prosperous and stable means that Mexicans are much less likely to look for opportunities North of the border, while conversely it will also draw more Anglos into Mexico.
Funny, Maximilian said a similar thing in his personal writings, but in admiration rather than derision.

What a heart-warming moment. It would have been a shame if one of the few real love stories from that era OTL ended up broken permanently.

In all, things are look to be on the up and up for Mexico. Makes me wonder what immigration will be look like in the future compared to OTL. Being more prosperous and stable means that Mexicans are much less likely to look for opportunities North of the border, while conversely it will also draw more Anglos into Mexico.

I didn't realize Max and Leopold von Hohenzollern were that close!

Definitely! The Texas and Southwestern borders besides California all belonging to the CSA also eliminates the ease of developing transborder economies with the USA, which probably has just as much impact if not more as Mexico's heightened prosperity (my more or less longterm target is for TTL Mexico, by present day, to have a per capita GDP and standard of living somewhere around OTL 2020 Spain or Italy, which of course involves keeping much of the middle class that migrated in the 60s and 70s home and would dramatically reduce the birthrate over the back half of the 20th century)
The Wolverine in the White House: The Presidency of George Armstrong Custer at 100
"...such joy at earning the Presidency Custer could never have imagined, nor the impromptu parades on his behalf throughout his home state as Michigan sent its first son to the White House. He and Libby were guests of honor at several, riding in the parades on horseback as he had campaigned, a deliriousness sweeping through the Democratic Party as they realized they returned to Washington in control of patronage, already debating which Senators from the Liberal side they could easily work with, considering a new era, a second coming of Jacksonian democracy, before them..."

- The Wolverine in the White House: The Presidency of George Armstrong Custer at 100
"...Harrison is an interesting one since of all the Liberals who ran for president between 1880 and 1904, he was the only one to lose. [1] Despite the fact that Custer had been treated in the national press for four years as a President-in-waiting, I don't think it's that hard to get Harrison to win, either, which would have HUGE butterflies. You really just need the Dudley Affair to not occur so close to the election, or at all, and you could reduce some of the late swing towards Custer, which contemporary reports indicate was fairly substantive even in an age without polling. At minimum, you can probably deliver Harrison a narrow popular vote victory even if he falls a state short in the electoral; New York was going Democratic in that year come hell or high water, Tammany would see to that, but Indiana was on a knife's edge as Harrison's home state, and Ohio was close run, too. Flip Indiana, it's a squeaker - Indiana and another close state, Harrison is President. Just Ohio? Harrison is President. As much as Custer liked to declare his victory "a mandate of the people," his win was pretty narrow, it just seemed so thunderous because it was such a substantial rebound from the disaster that was Bayard four years prior.

The Liberals being affiliated with a plain vote buying scheme damaged their brand with the aspirant WASP middle class that dominated their party; it wasn't so much that Custer picked a lot of them off, but enough of them declined to vote or swung to the Prohibition Party late that it gave him a tiny boost where it mattered most. The ascendance of such voters within the party also helped damage Harrison, in a roundabout way. Harrison's public image was built very much on his piousness and his background as a minister, just as much as it was him being a Union general (1888 was the first campaign between men who had been young men during the War of Secession and fought in it, rather than politicians forged in that era. In that sense, it was a looking-forward election, to Custer's advantage). To the Liberal voter, that signalled that he was "one of them," as growing piousness in the 1880s as a response to what was seen as vulgar culture and industry drove much of the good-government reformism that defined the early Liberals. To Democrats, that also signaled that he was "one of them" - that he was sympathetic to temperance, that he was hostile to non-English education and Catholicism, particularly the Irish. That hurt Harrison in Wisconsin, in Ohio, and in New York, all of which Custer flipped. The backlash to the early temperance movement among Germans was particularly harsh, with even German liberals seeing Custer as "safe" enough to cast their ballot for. It was around this time that the suffrage movement for women had started gaining steam, too. No Liberal of particular standing endorsed this, and many Democrats in Western states and territories that allowed women the vote were sympathetic, but the movement was closely aligned with the temperance campaign and drew from a similar WASP base as the Liberals and so the assumption stuck in many immigrant communities that suffragettes were prohibitionists. Guilt by association.

Of course, Harrison winning completely changes the course of history. It would be the Liberals left holding the bag during the Panic of 1890, leaving them waxed in that fall's midterms and in 1892, after twelve years of White House control. Who the Democrats nominate would be an interesting thought experiment; perhaps the country would have been ready for Rosecrans or Bland at that point? Little things can drastically change how history unfolds, of course - 1888 is a great example. Three men who left the 1888 conventions thinking that their serious Presidential ambitions had been dashed would all wind up serving in the White House within a decade of Custer's inauguration. [2] We'd probably see some familiar names in the immediate aftermath of a failed one-term Harrison Presidency, but the butterflies would flap so loudly we don't see any of the Presidents we're familiar with just in the next generation. The dominoes put in effect by Custer's specific Presidency not getting knocked over drastically changes how the parties develop, I would say..."

- "Alternate 19th Century Presidents?" alternatehistory.en

[1] Spoiler!
[2] Foreshadowing!
And that's it for 1888! There are 24-25 planned updates for 1889, which will take us through the end of "Part IV: The Liberal Ascendancy."

Is there anything anybody wants updates on as part of tying up Part IV/starting Part V? People, places, events?
Meiji of Japan
"...the promulgated constitution that created a hybrid constitutional/absolute monarchy - what Germany's Heinrich I would later term an "active monarchy" - also led to the first delineation of powers in the history of Japan, creating a formal legislature, and a Cabinet through which the monarch would rule, in the Western fashion. Inspired by British and German structures, Meiji's formalization of the Japanese power structure was the last knife to the heart of the old nobility, which by 1889 was already shifting in the direction of the great industrial concerns driving Japan's modernization, soon to be known as "zaibatsu."

The promulgation would have thunderous consequences beyond Tokyo and the Home Islands. A modern constitution placed Japan at the same table as European powers; discussions to do similar started to proliferate in Korea, Cambodia, and particularly Siam, where Chulalungkorn had been pressed for years by liberal princes to reform and modernize the country's constitutional structure..."

- Meiji of Japan
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