Decades of Darkness

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Jared, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. Chrispi Byzantine Logothete

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Constantinople, Capital of the World
    I should have read your earlier post (or at least used command-F) :eek:
     
  2. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    Oh, it's quite easy to miss, just a small link buried in the text. I've had people ask me for it before. The redone website will make it much more prominent. Indeed, it'll be the only way to read the TL. :)



    Ooh, I like that idea. Could be some smaller naval vessels too, I'm presuming some RI ports can build cruisers and destroyers and suchlike.



    Yeah, they haven't been showing as playing much of a part, although that will change with time.

    Cheers,
    Kaiser Wilhelm III
     
  3. G.Bone lurks

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hon., HI
    Stupid mouse is acting up...

    I read this on google 'fore I found it here...

    Good job at linking Mahan up. I also thank you on introducing me to the form of excerpting from various articles and things. I've actually got a story running along the letters/excerpts format (www.trekbbs.com, fan fiction forum, letters & explanation)

    I also like this bit:
    Will there be some effort on the "Castilian character" coming about?

    Will there be some type of re-unification within the Spanish descendants and colonials in the idea of re-unified Spain or is this out of the picture?

    How is the Spanish language coming in conquered Mexico and other places?
     
  4. Bill Cameron Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004

    KWIII,

    Please take it and run with it! I'm happy I had could help in some small way with an ATL that has given me so much pleasure.

    You can build large ships along Narragansett Bay really wherever you want. I just wanted to point out the OTL problems with the narrow, relatively shallow harbor at Providence proper. An achorage just north of Newport is now hosting both Saratoga and Wisconsin as the decision is made to save or scrap them.

    After I got out of the Navy, I built subs at Electric Boat in Groton. Although wider and deepr than the Port of Providence, the Thames there still presents problems with launching SSNs. If those ~360 foot long, 6900 ton subs have trouble there, an 1880s battleship will ahve trouble at Providence.


    Bill
     
  5. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    Mahan has been planned for a while. He doesn't really have an OTL analogue, but he's going to do various important things to the USA.

    I'm quite partial to the idea of an unreliable narrator, and using excerpt style makes that really easy. So does eyewitness accounts, but in a different way...

    Well, the idea of a unified Iberia isn't quite gone, but it's a minority viewpoint. The Castillian identity is basically what you get left when some of the more independent-minded regional areas of Spain are gone. BUt I'm not sure what you mean about re-unified Spain within the former Spanish colonies... those have mostly gone their own way.

    Varies from place to place. In the more densely populated regions of former Mexico, especially the Valley of Mexico, it's still going strong. Similarly in Cuba, although English is slowly penetrating there. In the more northerly parts of Mexico, which were thinly populated to start with, it's been almost entirely displaced, although with a fair few Spanish loan words making it into English.

    Cheers,
    Kaiser Wilhelm III
     
  6. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    These classes of ships are also approximately 360 feet long, but I would imagine wider than an SSN (~70 feet), and would also displace a lot more, ~11,000 tons max. So it sounds like Providence is right out. But there'll be various ships around the Bay.

    Cheers,
    Kaiser Wilhelm III
     
  7. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Homeline
    Questions...

    1. I know some Federalists wanted to secede in OTL, but why would betray their original ideas of a strong central gov't and federal power over the states? What about Hamilton's legacy?

    2. Can you please do a quick summary of each party, for both nations?
     
  8. G.Bone lurks

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hon., HI
    Clarification on the earlier question:

    Is there any effort on having Spain "back to the ol' days" or is it just an idealistic notion for those immigrants of the "old country"?
     
  9. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    To over-simplify, the Federalists liked the idea of a strong central government provided they were the strong central government. They liked it less when their opponents were the central government. Hence the secession. Things were a bit more complicated than that; the Federalists were often more aristocratic and much more pro-UK than the rest of the USA.

    But there were also divisions within the Federalists, with some of them being more pro-states rights than others. As it happens, this branch was the one which came out on top in New England: Pickering was pro-states rights, for instance. And when your nation is built on the idea of secession, it makes states' rights more important. This legacy does fade over time, but it means that for the next generation or two there's a lot of people who support the idea of states' rights.

    Sure. Here goes...

    Decades of Darkness Party Politics

    In New England:

    Federalists are conservative, aristocratic, anti-Catholic (although that is fading), pro-UK, pro-big business, mildly protectionist (but not too much, since they tend to trade freely with the UK) and staunchly nativist. More than anything else, they try to keep things as they are, and feel that the government should not interfere with the lives of its citizens.

    Radicals are liberal (in the nineteenth century sense of the word), somewhat populist (in the anti-elite sense of the word), pro-tolerance to a greater degree than the Federalists (i.e. anti-anti-Catholic, promote religious tolerance, but would still be racists by late twentieth century standards), in favour of invention and the growth of entrepeneurs and commerce in general, but dislike the monopolistic, price-gouging and extortionistic tactics of some big business types in New England (and the USA for that matter). They favour open immigration and early citizenship for immigrants, too. They are strongly pro-free trade, and somewhat more favourable to the USA because they want good commercial links, although they are if anything more anti-slavery than the Federalists (which makes for some awkward commercial dealings at times, but it's usually a case of 'hold your nose but do business with them'). They also tend to be reformist in general, and favour the government doing things to improve the lot of the people. They've recently sponsored child labour laws, for instance, and want to do things like allow 'blacks' and women to vote. They are also pro-temperance, quite strongly, something which the Federalists oppose.

    The Republicans have more or less disintegrated, but when they were around they were somewhere between these two parties. Pro-commerce and pro-good relations with the USA, basically.

    In the USA:
    Party divisions in the USA are less rigid than in New England, and a moderate Democrat can be hard to distinguish from a moderate Patriot. But, in general terms:

    The Democrats started out as followers of the Jacksonian ideal of an agricultural republic. The Patriots started out as people who opposed the Democrats.

    In their early years, the Democrats were supported by mostly the more rural, slaveholding areas. Planters and poor white farmers who wanted to "keep blacks in their place" basically. Things have changed a bit. The Democrats are still supported by most of the agricultural planters, and most of the farmers in the more long-established agricultural territories. The Democrats have the majority of support amongst agricultural planters, less support among urban industrialists. (The decentralised light industry on many of the plantations is the sort of thing they favour). They also tend have more support from rural farmers, but that varies by state, in some states the Patriots have things pretty much locked down amongst the rural farmers. The Democrats tend to be more opposed to internal improvements, government tariffs, or bureaucratization or governmental regulation, particularly over economic activity. The quintessential Democrat supporter would be an agricultural planter (or haciendado, come to that) devoted to a life managing his plantation, throwing expensive parties, and not really having a new thought in his life. They don’t make much contribution to art or culture, for instance. The Democrats tend to place most emphasis on the executive branch of government.

    The Patriots started out as an urban party, and they still are to a degree, but they have a much more diverse support base than the Democrats. Much of their old support came from the remaining free-soil states in the Union, but they also became the party of the frontier. Miners, ranchers and homesteaders tended to prefer the Patriots. The Patriots have also become more of an urban party. Basically, the frontier areas and the more urbanised areas once things have built up; the more developed agricultural areas tend to vote Democrat. The Patriots encourage government activity for internal improvements, manufacturing, mining, and thus tend to encourage tariffs. They draw more support from urban industrialists, and so on. The Patriots, as a party, emphasise more of the struggle so that any white man can pursue the “Great American Dreamâ€, i.e. to earn a lot of money and have other people working for you. They thus get more support from the middle class, the up and coming, and the nouveax riche, although once those people become old money they tend to switch to the Democrats to support the status quo. The Patriots are in general more expansionistic and militaristic, although that is something which cuts across party lines.

    Hope this helps...

    Cheers,
    Kaiser Wilhelm III
     
  10. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    Sorry, do you mean that people of Spanish descent abroad (e.g. in Argentina and Chile) want to see Spain reunify? If so, then no, not in any practical sense. There may be some talk about it, and some vague ideas of "Spain divided must be reunited", but nothing which will involve more than token financial support. For the next generation or two, this was an issue decided on the battlefield and will stay decided. Vaguely like the "Lost Cause" notion in the South, although that analogy shouldn't be stretched too far.

    Cheers,
    Kaiser Wilhelm III
     
  11. G.Bone lurks

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hon., HI
    Ah- cleared it up.

    BTW- how is posting on the new system they have on google? As a lurker I'm finding it hard to find the ones that I really liked- like yours, the Prussian Nut, Empty America, etc.
     
  12. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    I found the default layout for new google groups system a serious pain, and although I tweaked it a bit to make it vaguely readable, I much preferred the old option. For now, you can still access the old version via any of the national groups sites (e.g. groups.google.co.uk). The easiest way I've found to search for them is to do an advanced groups search with the relevant title in the thread (Empty America, or whatever), find results only on soc.history.what-if, and sorted by date, neatly brings out most of the timeline posts in order.

    Of course, I don't post using google anyway, I use a regular news server and newsreader, but I still use google to check the archives of the old posts.

    Cheers,
    Kaiser Wilhelm III
     
  13. Straha Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Cthaco Bell
    in decades of darkness I could see the USA doing euthanasia on the "low quality" slaves/peons/serfs. America strikes me as being possibly nazilike to its slaves in the 20th century when mechanization of farming makes slavery less profitable.... :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  14. davekohlhoff Proud Populist

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri and Maryland
    My understanding of TTL was that slaves had a minor role in industry with debt slaves being the main source of unskilled industrial labor(skilled labor would still be predominantly free).

    One exception to this will be the garment industry. Slave Sweat-Shops will be prevalent in TTL USA.

    When mechanization occurs there will be some places for slaves to work. Middle Class families would likely want a slave housekeeper as a status symbol.

    The wealthy would have staffs of slave gardeners, slave butlers, slave cooks, slave housekeepers and slave chauffeurs.

    Agriculture would still require large numbers of laborers. Slaves would still pick produce.

    Restaurants will use slave waiters and waitresses and slave cooks.

    I expect the slaves will be used for jaintorial work in most industries.

    Hotels and Motels will use slave labor extensively.

    Unfortunately in a service economy there are a lot of labor intensive niches for slaves.

    This opens whites up to a lot of bad consequences to mistreating slaves.
     
  15. Bulgaroktonos Heartless Imperialist

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    In a period of economic trouble, the whites just might find themselves out of work.....say the Great Depression with a great deal of free labor?
     
  16. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    I'd actually be surprised to see organised euthanasia, oddly enough. For all the evils of chattel slavery, they tended not to go in for massacres except in rare cases when provoked by severe revolts. Casual brutality and even murder, of course, but mostly on an individual basis, not on an organised scale. Slaves, after all, are extremely valuable. Debt-slaves/peons/serfs are also legally considered people (albeit ones with severe restrictions), so murdering them isn't likely to be on.

    Of course, as you point out, the mechanization of farming is going to change things, but this varies by crop. Wheat was beginning to be mechanized by the 1850s in OTL, and oddly enough it made wheat-based slavery more profitable, not less, because it evened out the amount of labour needed to deliver the crop. Before then, planters needed to keep more slaves around because they needed the extra hands during harvest. Now, they sold the surplus slaves, bought reapers, and had a partly mechanized wheat slavery plantation which was more profitable than before. This didn't mean that wheat slavery spread in OTL, because cotton was still more profitable, but it will lead to an expansion of wheat plantations ITTL as cotton becomes more unprofitable for other reasons (boll weevil and oversupply, basically).

    But the biggest crunch is cotton, which was mechanized in OTL during the 1930s-1940s. This is really going to shake things up, but I expect it to lead to reassignment of slaves to other industries. These may be less profitable than cotton, but it doesn't mean they're unprofitable in themselves. Or, just maybe, a very gradual emancipation.

    It varies a fair bit from industry to industry; in some cases, slaves do semi-skilled labour. What tends to happen is that social hierarchies evolve; some occupations are seen as 'nigger work' or 'peon work', and thus free whites don't move there, or at least only into the more specialised or senior positions. Even in OTL, slaves worked in shipbuilding, for example, but I'd expect to see strict social limits arise on what roles they could do within shipbuilding.

    Basically, slaves are in agriculture, and in that sense they are not in direct competiion with debt-slaves, who mostly don't want to work there. (They can be farmers back in old Mexico if that's what they want, and debt-slaves do have some slight say in where they end up). Slaves also tend to feature in a lot of the decentralised light industry which crops up all over the place: rum breweries attached to sugar plantations, for instance, and production of corn whiskey. And garments, as you point out. Maybe hemp rope too; that was an industry where in OTL Kentucky the factory owners used slaves exclusively. Slaves would also feature in a lot of the proto-industrial jobs: mining, construction, railroad building, and so on. Broadly speaking, debt-slaves end up in heavy industries. Both slaves and debt-slaves are used in service industries; middle-class families tend to have debt-slave help rather than slaves, because slaves are more expensive. It is a big status symbol to be able to afford a slave housekeeper, for instance.

    When mechanization occurs there will be some places for slaves to work. Middle Class families would likely want a slave housekeeper as a status symbol.

    All of these are likely occupations, although it will vary whether they use slaves or debt-slaves. (Come to think of it, another term will probably develop besides debt-slaves, since the latter are legally classed as people (just not citizens) and would *not* like to be called slaves). Although the service industries will overall be smaller than OTL, because of the smaller populace.

    And yes, there are bad consequences for mistreating slaves, unless you happen to be the owner of said slave, of course. But even then, the planters were surprisingly profit-minded, and tended not to throw away too many valuable slaves without good reason. Although they were very good at throwing away the profits in other ways, high living being the most obvious.


    Cheers,
    Kaiser Wilhelm III
     
  17. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    Yes, things could get really ugly if an *Great Depression hits at the same time as the mechanization of cotton farming happens. But in general, I'd expect the U.S. government to try something about it, "make-work" programs being the most obvious, but also, sadly, starting a war to kick-start their economy and armaments industry in particular.

    Cheers,
    Kaiser Wilhelm III
     
  18. Michael Canaris What does this field do?

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Some possible terms which come to mind include villeins/serfs/peons (each largely accurate, but of doubtful non-agricultural use), non-financial residents (descriptive with respect to public legal status) and sub-contractors (which I like for its euphemistic quality.)
     
  19. davekohlhoff Proud Populist

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri and Maryland

    Here are a few non-agricultural terms:

    Latin bondsmen
    Indentureds/Indentures
    contract laborers

    I expect that the individual states will have different regulations for debt-slaves. There will also likely be separate categories of debt-slaves. I expect that the labor they owe will vary. The freedoms they enjoy will also likely vary.
     
  20. Jared Voldemort Jnr

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Kingdom of Australia
    Serfs and peons are entirely accurate terms, but in DoD reserved for particular classes of non-debt-slaves, being Indians and former Latins respectively who are bound to the land. I suppose that peon as a term could spread when the former Mexicans (and others) slowly shift to being classed as debt-slaves.

    But I particularly like contractor/subcontractor. I think that one will end up being used a lot... :)

    Bondsmen sound promising, or contractors/contract labourers. I'm leaning more towards contractor or subcontractor, although it may well vary from state to state.

    The creation of debt-slaves is a federal rather than state matter, by the way. There was a 'war tax' slapped on the former inhabitants, which could be assumed by someone buying out the debt and thus getting the debt-slave. This doesn't stop states creating their own rules and regulations around the institution, of course, but by and large it's a federal system, and most of the big owners will want government intervention to create an efficient rental market.

    And yes, they definitely have varying freedoms, with some being in practice almost free (allowed to keep some money, but can't shift where they work very readily) to those whose condition is not that far above that of slavery (although the whip doesn't really put in an appearance, and their families at least stay together).

    Cheers,
    Kaiser Wilhelm III