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Empress Viktoria denied him access to the Kaiser in a move that would sour their relationship for the rest of their lives, and when he demanded that she help him overrule the Admiralty's ban on him serving in combat roles "because Germany needs me," she quipped, "Oh, so you've finally read a newspaper, have you?" [1]
[1] Victoria was a mom who played favorites aggressively and was not super warm to her children, and apparently she always thought of Heinrich and his wife Irene as simpletons since they never read newspapers or kept up with current events, and that they both had a lack of interest in politics (though maybe that's for the best, seeing as how OTL Wilhelm was plenty interested in politics - just ones diametrically opposed to her own)
Ah, I was wondering where the dysfunctional part of this relatively functional Hohenzollern family comes in!
Can you please have the Prince Imperial marry a daughter or granddaughter of Charles Léon , illegitimate son of Emperor Napoleon I of France? That would place the blood of the original Bonaparte Emperor into the current Bonaparte. It would definitely become a major scandal because she would be a commoner and she would most definitely use her direct descent from Napoleon I as a trump card to make the marriage be recognized as legitimate! Please do this! It really bums me out that the current house of Bonaparte are from a brothers line of descent!
Can you please have the Prince Imperial marry a daughter or granddaughter of Charles Léon , illegitimate son of Emperor Napoleon I of France? That would place the blood of the original Bonaparte Emperor into the current Bonaparte. It would definitely become a major scandal because she would be a commoner and she would most definitely use her direct descent from Napoleon I as a trump card to make the marriage be recognized as legitimate! Please do this! It really bums me out that the current house of Bonaparte are from a brothers line of descent!
Interesting! Dunno how that would fly though, seeing as how the taboo against marrying morganatically was strong at the time (Franz Ferdinand got screwed by that after all)
Belgique Rouge
"...the relationship with his uncle had of course been irreparably poisonous since before his accession, but now both of the Count of Flanders' sons were old enough to pose at least a marginal threat to the increasingly authoritarian Leopold. Albert, though only just becoming a man, had already earned praise from the more conservative Catholic Party for his firm outward devotion to the faith and from his tutors for his intelligence, humility and kindness; his military career was already expected to be illustrious, in part thanks to his elder brother. It was Baudouin whom Leopold truly feared, the dashing young military officer having earned the King's notice after rejecting Princess Clementine as a potential wife (a move that had of course benefited Leopold just fine when he married his younger sister off to Prince Victor Bonaparte) and later through his humane treatment of Socialists as his regiment put down a rebellion in Namur in late 1892, where he won the moniker "the Good Prince." It took little for Leopold to deduce whom he was being compared to, and with little fuss he immediately assigned Baudouin to serve as head of legation in London, claiming to need "a trusted pair of ears across the Channel."

Of course, the move was made plainly with fear of a coup that could install the more popular younger prince in place of the King or one of his numerous sons, the fourth of whom, Louis Albert, would be born the following year in 1893 [1]. The Garde Royale was fiercely loyal but the upheavals of the 1890s depression were felt firmly in Wallonia, the hotbed of radical activity, and the Garde Civique was exhausted from one crackdown after another. The one thing the Catholics and Liberals in Parliament could agree upon was their mutual hatred of Socialists, whom they formed a bloc opposing to the point that it was effectively illegal to run as a Socialist or publicly identify as one; Marxism nevertheless became a crucial cog in the essence of Wallonian identity, only furthering angering the stubbornly Francophile King and creating another lever of alienation with the more agrarian, conservative Flemish of the north. It was a tremendous irony that even during the age of the tremendously talented Flemish Catholic Prime Minister Auguste Beernaert and the reemergence of Charles Woeste, and the uninterrupted dominance of the royally preferred Catholic Party, that Leopold's Francophilia and neglect of the Flemish population intensified; the sudden establishment and success of the Christene Volkspartij as a Flemish Christian Democratic party threatened the Catholic elite and suggested a future of state interventionist Catholicism, one which Leopold could hardly tolerate.

In this tense environment, sending his Anglophile cousin to the Court of St. James struck Leopold as the prudent thing to do. In effect, however, it only served to weaken his position at home further; Baudouin would come to love England and upon his return would form a powerful Anglophile (albeit politically conservative) bloc within the Belgian nobility and ruling class, furthering splintering the elite at critical junctures for the establishment's survival.

- Belgique Rouge

[1] Don't recall if I've covered this before, but by this point Leopold III has five children per my notes - Marie-Adelaide; Leopold, Duke of Brabant (heir apparent); Stephane Clement (named after two of his sisters); Philippe (named after his uncle); and soon Louis Albert (named after his eldest sister, and his cousin). In 1895 he'll have Henriette, named after his cousin who passed in the flu of 1890 (recall that Henriette dies but Baudouin survives ITTL)
The Scramble for Asia: Colonialism in the Far East in the 19th Century
" was Zorilla who became the unlikely hero of the hour, proposing in missives to the three feuding monarchs that he could host a conference in Madrid to settle the Siamese Question; it was unstated but broadly accepted that Siam, of course, would have no place at the table. Berlin was immediately amenable to the matter; Hohenlohe wanted an escape valve from the crisis and dispatched Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, who had spent substantive time in the Orient as chief resident in Kampong Son, to represent Germany on the matter, a prestigious assignment for the popular and aging regent. Paris and London were harder to persuade; the newspapers had whipped the public in both into a frenzy and war seemed imminent. But finally, Chamberlain agreed to the conference provided that he could attend himself; the Madrid Conference would place an immediate pause on his reform program in native Britain as an autumn of strikes and social unrest loomed, but Chamberlain gambled that it was worth the risk, and the "Siamese Triplets" of Chamberlain, Ripon and Trevelyan - the three men who from the start of the crisis had dictated effectively all of the Cabinet's Siam policy as former Prime Minister Harcourt had made war preparations in conjunction with the Home Army - headed to Madrid, where they hoped for a reasonable resolution to the conflict. Ripon, for his part, was angered at the very idea the warmongering Boulanger might make the journey from Paris; thankfully, it was instead Courbet who arrived, along with Foreign Minister Paul de Cassagnac.

So the first great conference in nearly a decade was called, with four official attendees - three in dispute, one to mediate - but the rest of the world watching, eager to see if the Great Powers were about to plunge Europe into war over control of the Lao Highlands and the Mekong River..."

- The Scramble for Asia: Colonialism in the Far East in the 19th Century
I think, threat of war is averted, for now. Only thing I am curious about, what will happen to Siam? I guess, Germans wouldn't sacrifice Cambodia as they invested and gaining lots of money. Maybe Siam would give some economic concessions to France in exchange of no more concessions guarentee Germany?
I think, threat of war is averted, for now. Only thing I am curious about, what will happen to Siam? I guess, Germans wouldn't sacrifice Cambodia as they invested and gaining lots of money. Maybe Siam would give some economic concessions to France in exchange of no more concessions guarentee Germany?
Britain not wanting France on Burma/India’s border or the Andaman Sea is definitely a sticking point here
"...previous attempts to adapt Harrold's sprawling, 1100 page opus charting the romance, careers and lifetimes of George and Elizabeth "Libby" Custer have been a mixed bag; the 1967, three-hour epic starring Clint Eastwood and Vera Miles was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and was the second-highest grossing film of the year, while the 1989 NBC miniseries, timed to coincidence with the 25-year anniversary of the publication of "Custer" and the 100th anniversary of George's inauguration, was famously flat and quickly forgotten about.

HBO now sinks its teeth into the long, difficult, sprawling tale and updates it for modern audiences; for the first time, the book's ambiguity about which titular Custer is the protagonist (George, Libby, both, neither?), first-wave feminism, and critique of America's Indian Wars and Gilded Age corruption shines through in a way glossier, Western-inspired adaptations did not. This is a dirty "Custer;" the war scenes in the early episodes are remarkably graphic, one can practically taste the dust, and the hard life on the Plains is not shied from in Libby's travails alongside her husband. The portrayal of its subjects is masterful; George, played with compassion and complexity by Canadian actor Barry Pepper, pivots from arrogant young officer to jaded war hero to publicity hound to reluctant politician in a strange arc true to history, while one of our most famous first ladies lands the talented Sarah Paulson, who really begins to shine in the back third of the series when her long and dutiful widowhood becomes the show's hook.

Ten hours gives the Custer saga room to breathe in a way more abbreviated versions did not; while the 1967 film focused heavily on the Custers' relationship and the Indian Wars, this one gives plenty of focus on his political career, including George's failed 1866 Congressional campaign after which he nearly gave up on politics entirely, his little-known dark horse hopes to be nominated for President in 1876, 1880 and 1884 before finally earning the ring in 1888, and his frustrating Senate career in which his celebrity overshadowed his ineffectiveness as a legislator in a body of wealthy elites, before a daringly honest and frank dissection of his brief, turbulent and ineffectual time in the White House. It is a bracing view of its time; not just in set design, but a script that genuinely reminds of the difficulties of being a woman or racial minority in this time period, that does not pull punches in a grotesque portrayal of the Missoula Massacre allegedly sanctioned by Custer's lieutenants (the show is silent on whether he ordered it), and condemns its subject for his virulent hatred of Chinese and Black people both privately and publicly. Audiences whetted on HBO's excellent string of political thrillers will appreciate the machinations both before, during and after Custer's Presidency; that the fateful trip to the New Jersey Avenue train station occurs at the end of the 7th episode leaves an eighth hour dedicated to the immediate aftermath, and Libby taking on David Hill, one of our most infamously corrupt Presidents, as the various players of 1890 Washington scramble to benefit from the first Presidential assassination.

Regardless of one's interpretation of the enigmatic, multifaceted 23rd President and his impressively dogged wife, who spent the remainder of her life promoting his legacy as a slain martyr and chivalric hero of American democratic ideals, continue to capture the American imagination over 125 years after his assassination. Why, exactly, we cannot be sure, but the Custer myth has perhaps finally found an adaptation that can capture the grandeur, contradictions, and operatic tragedy at its center..."

- HBO's "Custer", New York Times Review
Engines of Industry: The Capitalist Innovation of the Second Industrial Revolution
"...Bell found greater success below the Ohio, where it quickly established a monopoly once Georgia & Alabama Electric merged with Southern Bell Telephone; the new Consolidated National Telephone, headquartered in Atlanta, had no Western Union or Pacific Telegraph to compete with down in Dixie. Since Confederate telegraphs were all controlled by the railroads that had laid cables alongside their tracks (meaning that towns without railroad connections also often went without telegrams, too), Consolidated emerged as the sole competitor on that front, able to scale up telephone installations as Confederate railroads already struggling with the ongoing agricultural depression chose not to lay more cable. All telephone wires ran through Atlanta, fanning out like spokes from a hub, just as several major railroads did - it only further cemented Georgia's capital as the burgeoning industrial, communications and transportation logistics center of the Confederacy..."

- Engines of Industry: The Capitalist Innovation of the Second Industrial Revolution
Where possible I’m planning to use OTL people. Obviously not always realistic when royals start having different marriages but otherwise I prefer not to lean too heavily on a strict butterfly rule for births, unrealistic as it may be
I'm not super strict with butterflies in my timeline either. POD in mine is 1797 but I still had an Opium War in the late 1830s that went more or less OTL, mostly because it seemed like a good setting for a chapter involving traders in Singapore.
The Eaglet Takes Flight: The Reign of Napoleon IV 1874-1905
"...his admiration for "Uncle Francois," as he nicknamed him, only went so far; Napoleon, though certainly no democrat, was skeptical that Franz Joseph's particular brand of absolutism could outlive the Habsburg Emperor, or that "the lid can be kept on that boiling pot" (the pot being nationalism within the Austrian constituent lands) eternally. Their position vis a vis Rome differed as well; Napoleon by the early 1890s viewed Church and Crown not as two sides of one coin, to go hand in glove, but as complementary forces, where temporal powers (France, particularly) defended the ideals of the Church from secular and liberal forces while the Church in turn could serve as a unifying organizing symbol rather than a major force in its own right. This was of course a cop to the realities on the ground - the French church had never fully recovered from the Revolution or the undercurrent of secularism in French cosmopolitan society, and the split between the Maltese and Roman Curias created their own sets of troubles. Franz Joseph saw things otherwise; where Napoleon drew on concepts within Catholicism for his innovative and modernizing policy of paternalistic conservatism, the Austrian Emperor dug his heels only ever further into traditionalism, for a threat to the traditional position of the Church was after all but one step towards threatening the traditional position of the Habsburgs. It was for this reason that where de Cassagnac and Courbet embarked on a mission to influence the Pope via diplomacy and partnership, Franz Joseph leaned heavily on Austrian bishops and friendly Cardinals to benefit Austria first. The silent struggle to be the preeminent Catholic power, on either side of violently anticlerical Italy, was perhaps the only point of contention between Paris and Vienna as the Iron Triangle only strengthened..."

- The Eaglet Takes Flight: The Reign of Napoleon IV 1874-1905
Maximilian of Mexico
"...had not lost his appetite for state visits and royal balls, and the visit of the young, handsome Pedro III of Brazil to the Chapultepec was no exception. It was the first time the monarch of the New World's other European-founded Empire visited the other; Maximilian was beside himself with excitement, his letters and diary dripping with anticipation, for he had only ever corresponded with Pedro II by letter and communiques via their respective ministers. Mexico, for all his reforms, was still dismissed in European courts as something of a backwater, a plaything for the softer Habsburg brother who would have been a liberal failson at home in Vienna; Brazil, on the other hand, was regarded in the Old World as a rising power, led by a virile young Emperor, boasting a soaring economy and growing fleet, and a potential challenger to the United States as head of a democratic but patrician, slaveholding bloc along with the Confederacy. Maximilian saw the visit as a chance to change unfair perceptions of Mexico in Brazil and abroad, as well as to pursue what he viewed as the true coup - a marriage between Pedro III and Infanta Maria Carlota, his youngest child, creating the first marriage pact of New World empires in the European fashion.

The Emperor who arrived in Veracruz by way of San Juan and Havana failed to impress. Pedro III's reputation abroad as lazy, boring and a dimwit preceded him; nevertheless, his stiff and disinterested demeanor while visiting appalled the vivacious Maximilian, who perhaps had hoped to see in the 17-year old Emperor some spark of youth and wonder that he felt fading now after his sixtieth birthday and with his grand famous beard now shot-through with gray and white and his hair loosely combed over to cover his family's distinctive baldness. Luis Maximiliano, who despite his withdrawn nature could charm like a seasoned politician when the mood struck him, took the Brazilian Emperor hunting with an entourage of young aristocrats from both countries but found it hard to squeeze a word out of him; Maria Carlota was similarly put off, admitting to Margarita Clementina that she found Pedro "handsome, but without a shred of vigor; he comports himself as a statue would, or dry kindling. One imagines the marriage bed with His Brazilian Excellency to be not unlike lying beneath a plank of his Empire's famed and namesake lumber-wood..."

The Court was courteous to Pedro III but the Brazilian Emperor came and went without a marriage to the blossoming Maria Carlota so much as discussed, thus souring the entirety of the trip for both parties. Nevertheless, it was an important moment in bilateral relations for two countries that would one day be inseparable partners moving in tandem on the world stage - but that was a day that would simply not occur via royal familial prerogative in the year 1892..."

- Maximilian of Mexico
O Imperio do Futuro: The Rise of Brazil
"...the Emperor may have preferred a hands-off approach to governing Brazil, but as he prepared to embark on his whirlwind tour out of the country - first to Mexico to meet Maximilian, the only other monarch in the Americas, then to the Confederacy and United States, then on to Europe to present himself in Old World courts - he was prudent enough to weigh carefully who he would name as Regent in his absence. Controversy around his mother had only grown since his majority, and it was feared, even amongst conservative abolitionists who were pushing for a law emancipating every slave over the age of 70 [1], that she would partner with liberals and conservative abolitionists in Parliament to push ahead with the "total option" of abolishing slavery branch and root in the Emperor's absence. "I may not have a throne to come back to if she watches it in my absence," Pedro quipped to his brother, Prince Luis. Nor could he entrust the Count of Eu, his father; the Frenchman was mistrusted by both Navy and Army in his position as commandant of the fiercely liberal and pro-Isabelline National Guard. Pedro's great fear, though, was that in his absence Pedro Augusto would attempt a putsch with sympathetic positivist-ultraconservative officers; O Preferido having no political opinions other than his own aggrandizement, it was a tremendous opportunity for him to seek the throne he had coveted his whole life and tasted briefly in the Triple Regency.

Pedro instead found what he hoped was a satisfactory solution in making O Preferido's younger brother, Augusto Leopoldo, Regent in his absence. His cousin was dismayed that he would miss out on his beloved naval duties for well over a year while the Emperor was gone but agreed out of duty, his only condition being "you return with a wife to give Brazil an heir." Pedro Augusto reacted violently to being passed over by his younger brother, taking the slight as poorly as it was meant to be taken, and the public being shocked that Pedro had made such an inflammatory (if, in the end, uncharacteristically pragmatic) choice..."

- O Imperio do Futuro: The Rise of Brazil

[1] I don't remember if I already did this in Brazil, so I'm retconning to say I did not and only the Lei Aurea has been passed ITTL
War By Another Name: American Elections in the 19th Century
"...talented an orator as he may have been, Hay also knew his limitations; his skill with words was limited to smaller settings (such as readings of his famous poetry) and he quickly found the campaign trail arduous and bleak. Thankfully, his helping securing the running mate position for Foraker turned out to be a blessing - between the two of them, Ohio was well locked down and they could "divide and conquer." The Liberal campaign apparatus decided early to effectively concede most west of the Mississippi after hearing of the burgeoning strength of Weaver's disciples, even in formerly staunchly Liberal states like Nebraska and Kansas; the Plains were the breadbasket of the Populists, and the Far West was a warzone between Weaver's upstarts and old-line Democrats in the mold of George Hearst or William Rosecrans. No, with Ohio secure, Foraker barnstormed Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana to make sure that the three vote-rich states returned to the fold while Hay oversaw the campaign from his home in Cleveland, hearkening back to the days of front-porch campaigns, only traveling to New York in the final stretch to "seal the matter" in appearing with Governor Jacob Sloat Fassett in President Hill's backyard. Hill, for his part, ran what can best be described as a campaign of desperation, the machines he had relied on creaking and tottering beneath his feet and his promises - income taxes, bimetallism, trust-busting - reeking of last-minute attempts to save his flailing, corrupt Presidency but in being breathed into life becoming new Democratic policy for the future. Even more prolific than Hill's frantic campaigning was Weaver, who crisscrossed the land, visiting every state and territory, giving nearly 800 speeches and drawing massive crowds, his rallies more like messianic revivalist sermons from the Great Awakening than the drier, perfunctory addresses given by his opponents [1]. For the first time in decades, the election was close to a true three-way tossup, besides Hill's disadvantages, thanks in large part to Weaver's charisma and appeals to an end to the stagnant binary of Liberal and Democrat..."

- War By Another Name: American Elections in the 19th Century

[1] WJB will have a role to play in this TL, fear not, but yes, Weaver is effectively assuming his role purely from a campaign/public figure perspective
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