Dixieland: The Country of Tomorrow, Everyday (yet another Confederate TL)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by TastySpam, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1

    TastySpam Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    (Flag of the Confederate States of America, 1867) [1]

    Chapter 0 Here

    ~~~

    Chapter 1 Below:

    "Treaty of Paris (1867)"
    Excerpt from Canadian-English-Language Textbook, Aljaska, Russian State

    ...Confederate negotiators largely failed to accomplish most of their goals. American negotiators refused to budge on any major territorial concessions, including Confederate claims on Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and even the new American state of West Virginia. The only Confederate negotiating victory came on accident - American negotiators agreed to "popular sovereignty" in the Indian territories, having not been informed of several now-infamously brutal massacres of Native Americans that pushed even many previously pro-Union tribes towards opting for the Confederacy. The parties agreed to respect these borders in perpetuity, a pledge that has been kept so far despite universal skepticism at the time.

    Unbeknownst to most observers at the time, more painful than any of the territorial concessions was the agreement of the Confederacy to assume its share of the pre-1861 national debts of the United States - as proportioned by population. American negotiators famously laughed in the face of Confederate negotiators who claimed it unfair when their American counterparts suggested counting slaves as "3/5ths" of a citizen for purposes of debt apportionment. Worst of all for the CSA was that the debt was denominated in US dollars, not the nearly useless Confederate dollar. Confederate inability to pay such debts, as small as they were by American standards (the 1867 debt of the USA was $4 billion, while the CSA share of 1861 debt came out to under $40 million), would eventually prove disastrous to its political class.

    One 20th century Marxist Southron politician joked about what he called the "dual ironies of 1867" - first, how the assassination of pro-war President McClellan by an abolitionist radical famously elevated a pro-peace politician in the White House.[2] Second, in their quest for power, Slave Power bankrupted the new nation and sent nearly 400,000 Southrons to their graves, ensuring American economic dominance of the nascent Confederacy.[3] He lamented that "if not for the First Revolution, we would have at least gotten to vote on the terms of our subordination."

    Modern historians largely have rehabilitated once-reviled Confederate diplomats, pointing to the weak bargaining position of the CSA. Although the Tennessee front went horribly for the Americans, Richmond and its ironworks were lost. Though CSA troops successfully escaped Vicksburg, the Mississippi was lost.[4] Confederate troops hadn't ventured onto American territory since the unsuccessful 1862 Maryland campaign (though historical documentation strongly suggests General Lee would have mounted a similar campaign in Pennsylvania if not for his death by friendly fire at Chancellorsville).[5] The economy was in shambles and much of Europe had easily adjusted to the loss of Dixie cotton. Ironically, the primary destination of cotton would soon be to textile mills...in America.

    Despite the lack of any better options, the Treaty of Paris triggered revulsion among the Confederate public elite. President Davis was famously unable to get the Confederate Senate to ratify the treaty and was forced to pass the terms as a bill in Congress (with simple majorities). With some angered at his autocratic violation of state rights throughout the war and others screeching at this "betrayal", the upcoming 1867 elections would prove to be an ordeal for the new nation.
    ---
    [1] The OTL CSA adopted the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia into its national flag because of the national prestige of R.E. Lee. But here, Lee is dead, and the ANV is not the most successful CSA army, so that doesn't happen.
    [2] McClellan was pro-war, but his VP, Pendleton, was not.
    [3] A longer war means higher casualties, on both sides. And IIRC, the OTL CSA was already scrapping the bottom of the barrel, so this hurts going forward.
    [4] No Vicksburg surrender means more CSA fighting power, which means the CSA can last longer in various meat grinders.
    [5] This butterflies out Gettysburg. Not blowing manpower in Gettysburg also delays the collapse of the Army of Northern Virginia.

    ---

    FOREWORD (probably tl;dr)

    Hi. I've lurked a lot and read lots of good TLs, so I decided to try my own hand at something! It's basically my first timeline, so uh, good luck me.

    Oh no, another cliche US Civil War timeline? Well, maybe? To make it worse, I really don't know much about military history of the US Civil War itself (or really any military history at all). My knowledge of the U.S. South largely starts in 1865 (and peaks with the Civil Rights Movement). What I have studied is developmental economics and to a lesser extent, African-American studies. On this subject, I'm a huge fan of C. Vann Woodward's books on Jim Crow, John W. Cell's The Highest Form of White Supremacy, a fantastic comparison/contrast of Jim Crow and South Africa, and obviously anything written by W.E.B. DuBois. I was also interested by the discussion of the US South in Why Nations Fail (as an example of an extractive oligarchy created by fundamentally broken political institutions).

    So the focus is far less on Civil War villainy/heroics, and more on the social and political development of the CSA in the context of a wider world. What I don't plan on is a CSAwank (I obviously have no sympathy towards the Dunning School/Lost Cause) nor a CSA dystopian hatesink (I remember someone making a good point about a sort of US narcissism where people with regional prejudices grind jump straight into polemics because they think their history created the most heroic/evil people ever). The CSA almost certainly ends up a significantly worse place than the OTL US South and probably OTL Mexico...but things get better...eventually. As the title strongly implies...the CSA...sort-of-muddles-through. So here we go with my first post.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  2. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

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    Why does this give me images of Kaiserreich and Boris Savinkov?
     
  3. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    So in short the CSA won indipendence with a more successful and prolonged guerrilla war in its territories and the Union threw the towel out of exhaustion?
     
  4. TastySpam Active Member

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    Dec 31, 2016
    I'm still waiting for the China rework. ;)

    I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing with Russia yet besides my assumption that the Alaska purchase gets butterflied out. I might have to retcon that as I go along lol.

    I honestly don't have an incredibly detailed write-up due to not really being a military history type and not really focused on the war itself, but I'll probably get something up later today. I think the general gist is that the Western theater goes way better for the Confederates and even though Virginia goes mostly OTL (albeit much slower without Lee blowing his manpower on Gettysburg), the Union hasn't taken Tennessee or made it to Atlanta. And parts of the Union throw in the towel (the peace isn't popular in the Union - nobody voted for President Pendleton).
     
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  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 2

    TastySpam Active Member

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    Well okay, it's time for another update on the first President of the post-war Confederate States of America, hopefully in a way that shines light on how they even won the Civil War. I'll add in a wikibox when I get to it after lunch.

    Confederate States of America, 1867 elections

    The anti-partyist ideology of the CSA prevented the formation of effective political parties, but many politicians began coalescing into general political camps. At first, this began as a split between pro-Davis and anti-Davis. However, after anti-Davis forces took a clear majority in the Confederate Congress in the 1865 elections, it quickly became obvious that the opponents of Davis agreed on little.[1]

    One common interpretation is that three distinct camps splintered: one camp dedicated to defending Jefferson Davis, one camp that detested Davis for his violation of states' rights while President, and a third camp outraged at the Treaty of London. However, the lack of partyism meant that most politicians belonged to none of these camps, but rather followed primarily localist or cronyist interests. Their only ideological commitment, like almost all other major politicians at the time, was defending the primacy of slavery as the backbone of the nation's political and economic order. Politicians, many of them elected in Unionist regions like Eastern Tennessee or Northern Alabama, were excluded from Congress.

    Contrary to public perception, the politicians protesting against the Treaty of Paris were not all fire-eaters - they actually came equally from all sides of the political spectrum, and many former fire-eaters actually softened their political stances in the aftermath of the devastation of the war. Proslavery was not a meaningful distinction when almost all major politicians were proslavery.

    The 1867 election plunged this entire system into chaos, thanks to the candidacy of the Confederacy's most prominent war hero: Braxton Bragg. Bragg was beloved by Confederate veterans and much of the general public for his smashing victories at Chickamauga and Chattanooga. The surrender of the Army of the Cumberland was wildly considered the worst American defeat of the war.[2] However, Bragg was wildly despised by the Confederate political class, which largely considered those victories a fluke.

    Braxton ran against Alexander Stephens, who represented many political forces opposed to the Davis Administration. Although Davis was widely unpopular, his endorsed candidate, Bragg, easily soared to a landslide victory.

    A last-ditch effort to keep Bragg from the presidency through the electoral college floundered as Confederate veterans marched on the capital (moved back to Montgomery due to paranoia over the USA) to demand the electors follow the popular votes of their state. Bragg denied responsibility over the paramilitaries, but they quickly set a precedent in Dixie politics.
    ---
    [1] Pro-Davis forces barely won in 1863 and 1865 goes worse for them as CSA deaths pile on.
    [2] OTL, Union forces escaped Chattanooga when Grant’s forces relieved the siege. Without his glorious victory at Vicksburg...that didn’t happen. And so a CSA army escapes surrender and a Union army doesn't. And thus Braxton Bragg of all people becomes the CSA’s most prominent war hero.
     
  6. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    The CSA has to win peace at home... it would be interesting to see which kind of parties will rise.

    But the political situation of the USA won't be better... the Republican Party lost the war, the Democrats lost their southern electoral basin, who will the people look now...
     
  7. Southern pride Well-Known Member

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    Also remember the constitution of the confederacy literally by word prevents the confederacy from doing any internal improvements in infrastructure such as railways and ports and other such things must be built by State governments and private investors.


    Also another way to create chaos is Virginia demanding compensation from the Confederate government for selling off a big portion of their state without their consent.
     
  8. TastySpam Active Member

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    Well, strictly speaking, the Republicans didn't exactly lose the war. They didn't finish the war fast enough, but the war was technically lost under a Democratic administration, which as you mentioned, just lost its Southern electoral basin....so uh, yeah...

    Thanks for the heads-up. I wasn't aware of that. I did know about the Confederate Constitution uh, making it near-impossible to abolish slavery. Thanks for the Virginia tip too!
     
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  9. Threadmarks: Chapter 3

    TastySpam Active Member

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    And now for something completely different!

    Napoleonic Diplomacy and the Origins of the Prussian Empire
    Ironically, the greatest winner from the Treaty of Paris may have been the neutral figure who helped the two sides negotiate: the French Emperor, Napoleon III. Not only did he present himself to the world as a monumental diplomatic figure, but he managed to browbeat both sides into accepting the legitimacy of his intervention in Mexico.

    Although the rise of Prussia seemed exceedingly problematic for Napoleon, abandoning the Mexican project after having just legitimated it in the eyes of the world was also a non-starter. The Luxembourg Crisis of 1867 forced Napoleon's hand. With the imminent threat of a confrontation with Prussia, France quickly needed allies.

    Ultimately, Napoleon III saw no choice but to relent on the Roman Question, withdrawing the French garrison from the Papal States. Italian troops quickly marched in, claiming that they would “protect” the Pope. In reality, his powers were quickly limited to within the Vatican walls itself.

    As humiliating as the Roman withdrawal was, it was deemed potentially less humiliating than a Mexico withdrawal, and an alliance between France, Italy, and Austria-Hungary (the Triple Alliance) was quickly brokered by the anti-Prussian Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust.[1]

    Bismarck had originally planned on unifying Germany by defeating France in a quick war, isolating it on the continent, and then redirecting its interest outside of Europe. Unfortunately for Prussia, this had happened in reverse. Prussia could not stand up to the Triple Alliance. The three South German states immediately reneged on their secret pact with Prussia against France.

    However, Bismarck was undeterred. Despite widespread revulsion towards him at German newspaper, he accepted France's acquisition of Luxembourg, even while lambasting France as an expansionist Great Power. Newspapers in London and St. Petersburg ran glowing editorials on Bismarck, who the shock of most observers, ended up leading Prussia until his death in 1898.

    Instead, Bismarck adopted a new political strategy. First, he sought to use German nationalism to sway the South German states, but not with European conflicts, but rather with colonial exploits.[2] The second plank of his foreign policy was diplomatic alignment with Imperial Russia, including subtle support of Pan-Slavism. Both of these would help set the stage for the First World War.
    ---
    [1] The main barrier between an Austro-French alliance was the Italian problem and the main barrier between an Franco-Italian alliance was the Roman problem. Napoleon III defended Pope Pius because he was afraid of backlash from French Catholics, but ITL, he figures defending Emperor Maximilian and triumphing in Luxembourg gives him way more goodwill with the French Right.
    [2] Quite simply, there were no more neighbors Prussia could win a war with. With the possible exception of Imperial Russia, which was Prussia's only plausible ally. The colonial game is the least-bad option remaining to Bismarck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  10. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    An interesting start to the timeline here and should be interesting to see how the Confederacy manages to survive. A continuing Second Empire should be fun as well, especially with these alliances starting to form in Europe. And we have at least one World War in the future, that isn't too good.
     
  11. Odinson Plus Ultra!

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    Watched
     
  12. Filo Count of Santa Lucia

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    I like confederate tls. Go on!
     
  13. HonestAbe1809 Abraham Lincoln 2020

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    Things will get better for the Confederacy. Especially after people discover oil in Texas.
     
  14. Teiresias Well-Known Member

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    One thing to note about slavery in a surviving CSA is that slavery in general had become extremely unpopular internationally. So countries like France and Britain (and possibly the US) will be pressuring the CSA to abolish slavery sooner or later - and the Confederacy is a lot weaker alone than it would have been as part of the US.
     
  15. TastySpam Active Member

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    Yeah, I don't think WWI-type wars are always inevitable in an AH, but Bismarck was largely a force for peace in post-1870 Europe because of how satisfied with he was with the 1870 settlement. TTL Bismarck is uh, kind of the opposite, much more willing to throw wrenches into the European gear (or bombs into the Austrian cars, if you prefer that metaphor). Because the status quo doesn't work for hin.

    One thing I think not having a Franco-Prussian War butterflies out is that it removes the belief in the Prussian/German Army that sweeping encirclement victories are the proven way to go against France (aka Schleiffen). I am not sure yet how that changes things.

    Well. Maybe. Maybe not.

    Yes, being a Confederate diplomat is going to be very unpleasant. One could cite Brazil as an example of international isolation not being inevitable, but slavery was clearly on its way out in Brazil, while the Confederate political class has no intention to phase out slavery anytime soon (and everyone knows this.)
     
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  16. Threadmarks: Chapter 0

    TastySpam Active Member

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    The Trauma of Imagined Communities
    (Undergraduate Thesis, Longstreet University)

    As a thought experiment, imagine a community filled with green-eyed individuals. Presume that they aim to start their own empire, founded on the purity of those with green eyes. Presume they succeed, but at the cost of half of their lives. Now presume that collectively, they eventually later realize that caring about eye color is absolutely moronic. Would they still hang on together?

    History tells us that the answer is clearly yes. Take the Southroners, for example. The historical record is quite clear as to why those in charge of its political institutions, those who made the actual decision, chose to secede from the United States of America. The answer was clearly to preserve their institution of slavery.

    However, why did a nation, clearly founded on slavery, outlive slavery? To the average Bostonian, such a question seems bizarre. After all, America was founded on liberty and espouses that as its organizing principle in all of its excesses to this day. But Dixieland can unite on something else, something else that America doesn't have. That is, trauma.

    Over 400,000 Southroners, the vast majority with little stake in slavery, died in defense of what they thought was their homes, even if it was in reality for slavery. Yet, what matters today is not why they died - but that they died. Regardless of the politics of why, a young Southroner growing up in 1868 would see that the number one government expenditure in his state government was prosthetics for wounded veterans and that closely following was payments to aged widows. If he looked North, he would see those responsible, and he would see their relative wealth and comfort, regardless of what motivated them. The same story would repeat for his children and grandchildren

    For all that divides them, one thing unites the disparate peoples of Dixieland: trauma.
     
  17. Odinson Plus Ultra!

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    I'm digging this timeline, TasySpam. By the way, love the username.
     
  18. HonestAbe1809 Abraham Lincoln 2020

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    It makes sense that the loss of such a large portion of the Confederacy's youth would have a deep impact on the nation. I'm looking forward to reading more about this.
     
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  19. Southern pride Well-Known Member

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    Just found out this was in the Confederate constitution

    The Congress shall have power – To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for revenue, necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and carry on the Government of the Confederate States; but no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Confederate States.
     
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  20. Kirook Well-Known Member

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    Well, that’s pretty much the death knell for any attempt the CSA might have made to build a homegrown manufacturing sector with the USA right next door.
     
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