Cuba, the USA, and CSA

Okay, in a lot of scenarios that involve the CSA it's sort of assumed that the Confederacy will end up snaffling Cuba. This isn't entirely surprising. It's right off the coast of the CSA, it had a sugar industry of some value, and while the Spanish navy might be a bit large at some points in Spanish history, there are moments when things were a bit sticky for the spanish on the island anyway. But is it likely? Let's play with this, using the standard "America loses at Antietam" scenario.

There were ties between Confederate planters afraid of the end of slavery and groups in the United States before the Civil war, particularly in the southern states. Polk tried to purchase the island, Davis and Lee thought bout joining a filibustering expedition in 1851, the governor of Mississippi supported such attempts, and so forth. After the civil War, of course, there would be less of a need to balance out the growing number of free states with slave stats, but preserving slavery would be something that the Confederates care about.

In Cuba itself, there were many who preferred reform within the Spanish Empire to independence alone, or being "liberated" by a bunch of American soldiers. Efforts at reform under liberal governors hit a gridlock in 1868, however, when Queen Isabel II was deposed in 1868. Combined with increasingly hras rule under Governor Francisco Lersundi, creole landowners raised the flag of rebellion. The rebellion was initially supported by the poorer land (in this context, small plantation) owners, but it faced some critical obstacles. Among them? Slavery.

Carlos Manuel de Cespedes led the Revolutionary movement, and had freed his slaves to join the army. However, he was not a staunch abolitionist. While Cespedes urged slaves to revolt, some wealthy conservatives wanted independence without ending slavery. American aid was a trickle, and while Spain was initially distracted by the Third Carlist War that broke out in 1872, but once the war ended could deploy 70,000 troops to subdue the island.

Okay, so let's take the ATL. I can imagine the Lee (or Forrest, or whoever is leading the Confederacy in 1868) being happy to send aid and arms to prop up its little brother in Cuba. (The Spanish reaction will not be amused). But...

You have America. Turtledove assumed quiescent Democrats who bent over for the confederacy up until a Republican victory in the 1880s. That's quite possible.

It's also possible that by, 6 years after the war ended in 1862, the US is on the road to recovery. It's not a fan of the Confederates. They're a bit too willing to spark internaitonal incidents when their slave catchers try to chase people across the Ohio River; they're contemptuous of Yankee fighting abilities; etc. And to be honest, President Seymour, while an opponent of war, has a sympathetic ear for New York interests which wouldn't mind influence in the Caribbean.

I am not sure how Britian would feel about this all, but my gut is that since victory for Confederate backed forces in Cuba would see the prolongation of slavery, they would not be fond of Richmond sending filibusters.

Thoughts?
 
I don't see another USA-CSA war immediately. If the USA wants influence in the Caribbean, it can annex the Dominican Republic(as per their request). Otherwise, I do see it as fertile ground for the expansion of slavery, which is something that the CSA would want and be able to accomplish. The scenario I envision happening is that as the CSA tries more and more to expand slavery into the Caribbean, it will face more and more adversity from the USA and Britain. A 'Great Game' in the Caribbean, if you will. The USA annexes the Domincian Republic, then Haiti, and then aids some Central American regimes against attempted CSA expansion. The CSA annexes the Spanish Caribbean(if they can get Puerto Rico also), and tries to move into Central America. Slave-holding Brazil and the Mexican Empire under Maximillion could play into this scenario, provably allied with the CSA. Nevertheless, the CSA is going to lose this showdown eventually. Even if Britain decides to stay out of it, eventually the USA is going to be far more industrialized then the CSA, and be able to outright stop the expansion of slavery on threat of war. It'd be an interesting timeline, one that I may attempt at some point.
 
I don't see another USA-CSA war immediately. If the USA wants influence in the Caribbean, it can annex the Dominican Republic(as per their request). Otherwise, I do see it as fertile ground for the expansion of slavery, which is something that the CSA would want and be able to accomplish. The scenario I envision happening is that as the CSA tries more and more to expand slavery into the Caribbean, it will face more and more adversity from the USA and Britain. A 'Great Game' in the Caribbean, if you will. The USA annexes the Domincian Republic, then Haiti, and then aids some Central American regimes against attempted CSA expansion. The CSA annexes the Spanish Caribbean(if they can get Puerto Rico also), and tries to move into Central America. Slave-holding Brazil and the Mexican Empire under Maximillion could play into this scenario, provably allied with the CSA. Nevertheless, the CSA is going to lose this showdown eventually. Even if Britain decides to stay out of it, eventually the USA is going to be far more industrialized then the CSA, and be able to outright stop the expansion of slavery on threat of war. It'd be an interesting timeline, one that I may attempt at some point.
Hmmm, at this time there were already a growing "technical" problem with slavery in Cuba, as in other slavery countries. Simply, the british pression reduced the sources of slaves and increased their price. In fact, since 1842 chinese colis was being introduced in the island as, we could say, covert slave manpower. It's true that the cuban hacendados had much to do wih the long survival of slavery in Cuba, but even them knew that slavery was reaching its limit of sustainability. Their idea, taking into account their sugestions and demands to the spanish governments, seemed to be a progresive transition from slavery to braceros (day laborers?) in similar way to the use of chinese workers. Tehy called it "the social question". As example, during the debates about the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico (1871) in the spanish Courts, the organ representing the landowners and slaveowners interests in Cuba, the Junta Delegada, demanded autonomytosign traties with other countries in order to get "indian, chinese, malay, european or african inmigrants, depending on the convenience"I don't know how the CSA planned to tackle the problem (I assume they should have a similar problem) but it's a question that could cause not only long-term poblems in a CSA controled Cuba ( andin all the CSA itself?) but also discrepancies about the future of Cuba in the CSA.

Therefore, the slavery question in Cuba was prickly, as Faeelin says,and sometimes contradictory. In my opinion, Céspedes did something not so different to, say, Bolívar some decades before when he sugested the freedom of the slaves to gain their support. also, as Bolívar he feed his own slaves and encouraged other to make the same thing, but he was still ambigous about the question. And we know what happened with the slaves after the independence in the former spanish colonies. And Céspede's situation wasn't so different compared to Bolívar's example, playing between opposite interests, ideals and realities. Even in Cuba herself there is some short of precedents, like Arango during the napoleonic/independentist turmoil in the spanish empire, switching from antislavery to proslavery depending on the circumstances and the political alliances. However, the aforementioned question about economical viability of slavery and the possibility of transition to a non-slavery society was also a concern for many cubans, and they are going to defed their views.

Bearing that in mind, another possible butterfly if an independent CSA supports Céspedes and its rebelion an the spanish history still goes as OTL, the cuban slaves could uprise, but in the favour of the spanish republic proclaimed in 1873. From their point of view, they could have seen it as two choices: their former / current owners incertain offers (if there is still some offer) or a democratic and progressive metropoli wich has abolished slavery*. Of course, the first Spanish Republic is doomed in any TL in several multiverses , but do you think it would be possible to the cuban slaves try to push an Haiti in that circumstances and with the republican precedent if their masters are being supported by a proslavery power?

But returning to Faeelin's question (sorry for the digression). IOTL, it's said that General Prim, Premier of Spain from June of 1869 until his assasination in Septemeber of 1870, offered the independence of Cuba under certain conditions, among them, the american compromise to not take over the island, but unfortunate diplomatic moves on the American and Spanish sides prevented a treaty. In TTL, maybe Britain, USA and Spain can arrange a compromise, and probably many Cubans are going to prefer total independence instead a CSA domination. That could open the way to Faeelin's sugestions about a possibe yank and british intervention.



The mention to México also brings interesting cuestions. In OTL, Spain arranged mexican neutrality during the Ten Years War. Later, during Porfirio Díaz's regime, Mexico's attitude regarding the Caribbean was more or less pro-spanish, since the alternative was american dominance in the region, and it was seen as a nuisance to mexican interests. I have not idea about how could be the CSA-Mexican relations with a confederate victory. But that changes some things. In first place, probably it buterflies away the american investiments in northern México during the last quarter of XIX century, but well we are a bit earlier. Probably México would have the same perception of danger for mexican interests if the Confederation tries to expand its influence in the Caribbean.
But on the other hand there is another interesting point to take into account. I'm thinking in the close relations between Vidaurri and Madero familly with the Confederation and confederate officials, involving smuggling and cross-border support from Nuevo León during the ACW. I have not enough knowledge and imagination to guess how could that affects the mexican history in TTL, but I think it has potential to have influence in the development of events in Faeelin's scenario.

And finally, regardless what I said above and assuming that spanish internal affairs are more or less like in OTL, if none of the mentioned options happens, the most probably outcome if CSA intervenes in Cuba profiting the spanish domestic distractions, is a sooner or later spanish response, (and there are still unionist volunteers inside Cuba). Could the CSA repel an spanish counter-attack in, I suppose, 1876 when the Carlist War ends?


*Actually, the abolition of slavery was not intended to be enforced in Cuba until the end of hostilities, mainly because spanish Courts feared the political repercussions in the island in such a sensitive moment. But in the proposed circumstances I can see Salmerón clompetely imposing his views.

Cheers.
 

yourworstnightmare

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Cuba is tricky. Sure the South had economic interests, and therefor CSA would be interresting in acquiring Cuba, but would CSA intervene during the Cespedes rebellion? Which side would they back? All good questions.
 
HmI don't know how the CSA planned to tackle the problem (I assume they should have a similar problem) but it's a question that could cause not only long-term poblems in a CSA controled Cuba ( andin all the CSA itself?) but also discrepancies about the future of Cuba in the CSA.
You know, this is an interesting question. One thought is that the surplus of slave labor in the South, and tapign into the Confederate slave market, might help Cuba. Hmm.

Bearing that in mind, another possible butterfly if an independent CSA supports Céspedes and its rebelion an the spanish history still goes as OTL, the cuban slaves could uprise, but in the favour of the spanish republic proclaimed in 1873. From their point of view, they could have seen it as two choices: their former / current owners incertain offers (if there is still some offer) or a democratic and progressive metropoli wich has abolished slavery*. Of course, the first Spanish Republic is doomed in any TL in several multiverses , but do you think it would be possible to the cuban slaves try to push an Haiti in that circumstances and with the republican precedent if their masters are being supported by a proslavery power?
This is all fascinating. Thanks.

In first place, probably it buterflies away the american investiments in northern México during the last quarter of XIX century, but well we are a bit earlier. Probably México would have the same perception of danger for mexican interests if the Confederation tries to expand its influence in the Caribbean.
Does it? I mean, the American industrial revolution will still happen; the Confederate states (after the war) weren't the engines of economic growth. so I don't think much will change.

I would not be surprised to see the Confederacy expand into Mexico, or try, however.

*Actually, the abolition of slavery was not intended to be enforced in Cuba until the end of hostilities, mainly because spanish Courts feared the political repercussions in the island in such a sensitive moment. But in the proposed circumstances I can see Salmerón clompetely imposing his views.

Cheers.
Hrmm. Is the Spanish Civil war likely to be significantly changed?
 
Sorry for the delayed response.

You know, this is an interesting question. One thought is that the surplus of slave labor in the South, and tapign into the Confederate slave market, might help Cuba. Hmm.
Hmmm. That could be a reason to add cuban supporters to the CSA, probably at the expense of spanish government.



This is all fascinating. Thanks.
You are welcome.


Does it? I mean, the American industrial revolution will still happen; the Confederate states (after the war) weren't the engines of economic growth. so I don't think much will change.

I would not be surprised to see the Confederacy expand into Mexico, or try, however.
Yes, you are right. Probably I exaggerated the effects of the butterflies. About the possibility of the Confederacy being interventionist in Mexico, I agree. For that reason I mentioned Vidaurri's and Madero familly relations with the Confederancy. Vidaurri died in 1867, but Evaristo Madero, Francisco Madero's uncle, was also involved in Vidaurri's relations with the Confederacy (he traded with confederate cotton, for example). In OTL he and his sons denyed any involvement in the sedition against Porfrio Díaz, but with foreing support maybe the could try something or even predate Díaz as strongman in Mexico. Someone knows if this is a feasible possibility?



Hrmm. Is the Spanish Civil war likely to be significantly changed?
Well, it's really a complex question. I'm not sure if I will be able to give you a decent response. The main problem is the explosive situation growing in Spain after the Glorious Revolution of 1868, deepening after the assassination of Prim and exploding after abdication of Amadeo de Saboya. So, at one point, there were, at least, two differet civil wars running at the same time. We have the Third Carlist War, almost geographically restricted to the Basque Country and Navarre but also with some hot points in northern Catalonia, southern Aragon-northern Castellon (a zone called El Maestrazgo) and in lesser extent northern Castille.
On the other hand, we have the cantonalist revolution, with municipal entities claiming their sovereignty as cantons in a confederal Spain (or regardless Spain) and in many cases with a proto-socialist agenda. The cantonalism was mostly concentrated, more or less, in the mediterranean coast and eastern Andalusia.

Carlists and Cantonalists were the "extremes", but the other political forces, even in the democratic side, were not specially united, with fractures among them and inside them (alfonsino and anti-alfonsino monarchists, federalist and unitarian republicans...)

So, sorry for the boring introduction , in such a volatile situation anything is possible. Maybe, with an exterior enemy trying to make profit of the spanish situation, the republican movement is less active in the behalf of the common interest and the butterflies keep Prim alive (it's a possibility that his murderer were a republican) With Prim as the strong man and a foreing agression going on, I think it would be more order in the internal affairs of Spain and less possibilities for subversive movements, perhaps even butterflying or minimizing the carlist uprisings and probably making the things easier to Amadeo of Savoy (in the internal affairs, not in the foreing affairs, of course).
But if we still see the same historical course at least until the federal republic (1873) the carlist war can change noticeably depending on how the attitude and priorities of the military leaders are influenced by the war against CSA. I mean, in OTL they even abandoned or delayed military operations in the basque theatre in order to meddle in the political affairs.

Cheers.
 
I think whe need to flesh this out a little.

Lee wins at Antietam, McClellan Surrenders the AoP, Lee Captures several trains coming thru Point of Rocks, and loads the Harper Ferry Arsenal on them , shipping the Equipment and Supplies South. [This is what He was after.]

Lee knows that while the surrender of the AoP was a heavy hit to the Union, It was not a Knockout. He has to Hit again before the Union has time to recover.
Sending the Prisoners south , Lee races north toward York, before the Union can transfer troops from the west.
Winning the Battle of York, against a force of hastily gathered Pennsylvania & New York Militia, Lee loads the York Arsenal [one of the largest US Army Arsenals] on some captured Trains and Returns to Virginia.
Pennsylvania and New York are in Shock over the Losses, New England is not far behind.

The '62 Battle campaign season is over. The '62 Election Season begins. The Election hinges on the two Defeats, with Democrats blaming the Republicans, and putting up a slate of Anti War Candidates.

The Congress that sits in January 1863 is heavily against the War, and starts the session by Cutting the War Budget.
By March Lincoln realizes he has lost, and sends Davis a message agreeing to Talks.
Sometime toward the end of Summer '63, a treaty is signed.

The CS keeps all 11 States, minus West Virginia. , but picks up the southern half of New Mexico/Arizona.
The US agrees to a Payment of the Souths share of the National Gold Reserves, equal to the CS War Bond Debt.
The CS agrees to support the Monroe Doctrine. [not a big Difference, as the CS Congress introduced several resolutions supporting the Doctrine, for after the War]
Both Congresses ratify the treaty and the War is over.

In Spring 1864, Lincoln and Davis send France a Joint message asking for the removal of French troops from Mexico.
The CS begins preparing NM for statehood

Lincoln Losses in 1864 -- ?Who would be the Candidates and Winner? [McClellan's Political Career ended at Antietam]
?Does the Republican Party survive?

Fall 1867, The CS holds it's presidential elections. Lee probably does not run, But one of the other War Heroes Wins. ???Longstreet?, Johnson?, Jackson ?????? and will be in Office when the Crisis happens.

1871 whe have Santos Domingo ask to join the Union. I doubt the US accepting.
The US has a Black Population of >3%, and probably post war restrictions on Black Immigration. They will not want to take in a Majority Black Territory.
?Will the CS move to Take over SD??

1872 is a election Year for the US. ?Did the 1864 President get reelected in 1868?
I don't see the Yankees doing much in 1872.
OTOH Cuba will be a major issue in the elections.

It is a Alt Hist cliche about the CS taking Cuba, But I wonder if they would really want it. Cuban Slavery was Culturally very different from US Southern Slavery.

At the end of the Napoleonic Wars Cuba had a Population split pretty even 50/50 Black/White, After the war Cuba imported a whole lot of Slaves 1815 ~1832? [when Britain banned Slavery, and began stopping slave ships] raising the population to ~70% black. ,& ~70 % Slave.
However those Free Blacks Remained, 30% -More than any Southern States, Engaging in Trade, with all the Rights [on Paper at least] of any other free Cuban.
Free blacks would Marry Slaves, and under Catholic Law the Marriages being legally recognized, and the offspring would legally be free.
Even marriages between slaves were legally Binding and it was Illegal to sell the Spouses Individually.
There were a lot of other Laws protecting the Rights of Slaves flowing out of Catholic Law.

By the 1880's when [OTL] Slavery was Banned in Cuba, and the Italian Immigration began, the free/slave ratio was again approaching the old 50/50.

Any Confederate post ACW take over of Cuba, would have to deal with these cultural factors.
 
It seems that everyone forgot one tiny, little thing: any CSA attack on Cuba would take place by sea. It is an island after all. Yes, CSA had some ironclads. Coastal ones. I don't think the strength of CSA navy would rise enough to fight off Spanish navy... Even if ships build in european shipyards and not being put in CSA service OTL ITTL would find their way there, Spanish Navy is stronger still...
 
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