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

Chapter 87 - The US Presidential Election of 1896
The US Presidential Election of 1896
As a wartime presidential election, the election of 1896 was one of the most unpredictable, largely because the nation was far too busy to hold good polls. In addition, with large swaths of men serving at the front, often in irregular roles, voting was a logistical disaster. Regardless, American democracy chugged on. The mayor of Buffalo, Grover Cleveland, had been a war hero for managing Buffalo during the failed British attempt to take the city, and he was able to maintain the National Democratic Party as a third force in American politics. The National Democratic Convention of 1896 was extremely well attended, appealing to businessmen who liked the idea of both peace and pro-business policies. To further double down on this, Cleveland selected as his running mate the conservative senator from Delaware, Thomas F. Bayard. Similarly, incumbent President Holmes had an amazing wellspring of support among Catholics, labor unions, soldiers, intellectuals, and just random people who disliked non-white immigrants. Unlike his predecessor, Holmes was clever enough to not stoop to openly prejudiced rhetoric, but he consistently defended the right of states to disobey a hard-right Supreme Court that constantly struck down impositions on the "freedom of contract."

As a result, one of President Holmes's first acts as President was to expand the Supreme Court from 7 members to 11 members, placing 4 judges he had handpicked with his own legal philosophy. Outrage over the Court's usage of "privileges and immunities" to strike down almost all economic and social regulation united progressive reformers, moderate National Unionists, and ardent racists in the same agenda of packing the Court. The new Supreme Court signed off on a dizzying array of pent up legislation, which on one hand included maximum work hours, toleration of labour unions, and a ban on child labor, but on the other hand included less savory reforms, such as California's ban on employing non-whites. In the West, the focus was primarily on states trying to prohibit Chinese labour, while in the border states of Kentucky and Maryland, laws were passed prohibiting any employer in the state from hiring any black or even allowing them transit through the state. Of course, the same standard was not applied to poor white Confederates who moved to work in US factories, a very common phenomenon. American labour unions viewed Chinese and black workers as an inherently alien population that could never be integrated into the union movement, but they viewed poor white Confederates as part of the "same racial stock" and thus "worthy" additions to the Labour movement. In hopes of snatching the border states away from the National Democrats (who Holmes viewed as a greater threat than the Republicans), he chose as his Vice President Richard Bland of Missouri, known for leading the pro-Holmes majority in the Senate. The House was lost again to the Republicans in 1894, but the Senate stayed Anti-Oriental/National Union.

In contrast, the Republican National Convention of 1896 was a frenetic meeting, simply because the party had no real figure to rally behind. A floor-fight broke out between different factions of the party, namely those who were pro-Blaine and those who were anti-Blaine. In the end, Blaine was not renominated, but his former Secretary of State, John Hay, was nominated as a compromise candidate. It was viewed that with his diplomatic experience, Hay would be able to campaign on bringing the war to a "responsible conclusion", causing the Republican campaign to largely fixate on the phrase "responsible conclusion", hoping to waddle a middle-line between Holmes and Cleveland. The overwhelming amount of campaigning of all three campaigns fixated on the state of New York, because due to Cleveland's unusual popularity in upstate New York, the state was viewed as competitive for all three parties. With 42 electoral votes, New York was a juggernaut that was viewed to possibly decide the election.

In the end, the election followed typical regional patterns, with Holmes dominating the West and Hay dominating the industrial north. The largest exception was Maine and Michigan, the two most war-influenced states, voting for Holmes. In the end, the last state to be declared was New York, which was correctly viewed as pivotal. The Republicans held 167 electoral votes, the AOP with 102 electoral votes, and the National Democrats with 24. With 168 electoral votes needed for a majority, New York would decide whether the Republicans would take a majority, or if the election would be forced into the House of Representatives for the first time since 1828. After a week of counting, New York was narrowly decided for Grover Cleveland, forcing the election into the House.

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President Holmes generally did not expect to win, since it was clear on election day he did not have an electoral college majority. As a result, he decided to embark on the major policy he had been waiting to do until after the election. The day after the election, President Holmes sent a telegraph to 10 Downing Street, indicating that the United States was ready to negotiate a peace settlement. The British, who under Prime Minister Chamberlain had never ever wanted the war in the first place, jumped to the negotiations. A cease-fire was declared within the day. This was not discussed before hand with Imperial Russia, who was horrified by this development, as they were entirely aware that the Americans were tying down most of the British Navy and large swaths of the British Army. The Russians launched another offensive in Korea and Turkey - the former was more successful than the latter, which failed for very much the same reasons the Russian offensive had always stalled (poor logistics under Anglo-Italo-Kurdish harassment). With the costly end of the 1896 Winter Offensive, the Russians threw in the towel too, asking Great Britain and Qing China for a cease-fire, both of whom immediately obliged.

In the end, the House decided for John Hay, although the Senate, controlled by Holmes allies, decided narrowly for Richard Bland, largely because Bland was so well-connected in the Senate, he was able to get votes from across the ideological divide. Although he had not served an entire term, President Holmes would go down as one of the most influential presidents in American history. The Holmes court-packing scheme opened up a dizzying array of state laws, while in foreign affairs, it was surprising that the morose jurist would somehow both start and end a World War within his term. As a lame-duck President, Holmes had a pretty free hand to negotiate the peace settlement, though it was not truly necessary, as the British had absolutely no punitive desire. The primary countries who wanted a punitive peace were exactly those that could be easily overruled by the British and Italians, namely Canada and Qing China.
 
Never before have I read a TL that makes the Union even MORE racist after Confederate secession.
It's not that implausible. A lot of this stuff comes damn close to OTL for the period. And it's still largely the way EU countries run things; they're just less *openly* racist.

What I'm curious about is how long it's going to last. OTL, one of the reasons for the Civil Rights movement taking so long to coalesce was the need to build up an educated mass of black Americans capable of demanding equality on their own terms; ITTL, most nonwhite immigrants to the USA are going to have an existing ethnic consciousness and at least some organizational ability already. This stuff could start coming apart in the 1910s and '20s, not the 1950s, especially now that it's associated with a... not losing, exactly, but certainly not triumphant, president.
 
Never before have I read a TL that makes the Union even MORE racist after Confederate secession.
Eh, I mean, that's pretty much impossible to butterfly out. The OTL North did become "more racist" after the Civil War. Largely because scientific racism was on the rise everywhere, the North, the South, Europe, even nations outside of Europe. There's a certain American who likes to portray racism as an entirely a unique phenomenon among Southern whites, when the ideas that motivated Jim Crow were on the rise everywhere. There's also a tendency to treat Jim Crow as the culmination of basically a racist version of Dumbledore's Army going underground in 1865 and emerging when the Union leaves, when that's not really what happened. Most (though not all) Confederate generals in fact, while ardent defenders of slavery and a secession enacted to preserve slavery, generally accepted their defeat in 1865. People stretch this too far by implying they were racial egalitarians or secret abolitionists (especially with R.E. Lee), but they largely weren't the people who gave us Jim Crow.

What I'm curious about is how long it's going to last. OTL, one of the reasons for the Civil Rights movement taking so long to coalesce was the need to build up an educated mass of black Americans capable of demanding equality on their own terms; ITTL, most nonwhite immigrants to the USA are going to have an existing ethnic consciousness and at least some organizational ability already. This stuff could start coming apart in the 1910s and '20s, not the 1950s, especially now that it's associated with a... not losing, exactly, but certainly not triumphant, president.
Well, the biggest difference with OTL America is that there really aren't many non-whites in the USA at all. You've got a small (but rapidly declining) population of Chinese and actually relatively well-integrated Native Americans, and that's really it.
 
It’s bizarre to see an America that avoided the Gilded Age become marginally worse then it was otl.
Well, it was basically a turbo Gilded Age. Two decades of the Supreme Court striking down almost all economic regulation (1872-1892).

Speaking of Orientalists and anto-foreign ideals and sympathies, how's the KKK doing TTL.
The rise of the KKK is kind of a legit historical oddity that's really easy to butterfly out. They were essentially an anti-Union insurgency/terrorist group in the aftermath of the Civil War that was defeated - and they would have been totally consigned to the history books had not the Birth of a Nation, partly thanks to Woodrow Wilson, become a huge blockbuster hit in America. Because the second KKK was basically people from around the entire nation cosplaying/LARPing as the KKK because they liked the movie and its themes so much.

Obviously, the reasons why the Birth of a Nation became such a huge hit are still there, but ITL it seems unlikely the vehicle for those reasons would be the KKK.
 
The rise of the KKK is kind of a legit historical oddity that's really easy to butterfly out. They were essentially an anti-Union insurgency/terrorist group in the aftermath of the Civil War that was defeated - and they would have been totally consigned to the history books had not the Birth of a Nation, partly thanks to Woodrow Wilson, become a huge blockbuster hit in America. Because the second KKK was basically people from around the entire nation cosplaying/LARPing as the KKK because they liked the movie and its themes so much.

Obviously, the reasons why the Birth of a Nation became such a huge hit are still there, but ITL it seems unlikely the vehicle for those reasons would be the KKK.
Well Wildon OTL fucked up the post-war order too, Teddy would have been a way better choice. Will we see a KKK-like organisation or will extreme Orientalist fill that "gap"?

Edit: also hope you don't mind but for my Co-Prosperity Sphere TL I will steal the idea of a Oreintalist party, just with the twist that they will be a American Coprospist and pro-Asian/ pro-Japanese party in my TL :p ^^
 
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Well Wildon OTL fucked up the post-war order too, Teddy would have been a way better choice. Will we see a KKK-like organisation or will extreme Orientalist fill that "gap"?

Edit: also hope you don't mind but for my Co-Prosperity Sphere TL I will steal the idea of a Oreintalist party, just with the twist that tehy will be a American Coprospist and pro-Asian/ pro-Japanese party in my TL :p ^^
It's not stealing; it's borrowing and improving. :)

Honestly not sure if alt-KKK would arise in the USA. In the North, the rise of the Second KKK was heavily motivated by anti-Jewish and anti-Catholic sentiment (since there weren't that many blacks in all kinds of places the 2nd KKK popped up in). ITL, most Jewish immigrants are moving to the CSA (at this point, a solid supermajority of immigrants to the CSA are Jewish, largely because not many people are moving to the CSA), and most Catholics are going to, well, every other country in the New World.
 
It's not stealing; it's borrowing and improving. :)

Honestly not sure if alt-KKK would arise in the USA. In the North, the rise of the Second KKK was heavily motivated by anti-Jewish and anti-Catholic sentiment (since there weren't that many blacks in all kinds of places the 2nd KKK popped up in). ITL, most Jewish immigrants are moving to the CSA (at this point, a solid supermajority of immigrants to the CSA are Jewish, largely because not many people are moving to the CSA), and most Catholics are going to, well, every other country in the New World.
Then I will borrow and improve it, hope you like it once chapters about them come out there. :) The Orientalists will my TL become the major Party of the "Pacific States" both as part of the USA and later as a independent/ liberated Japanese "ally/ puppet".

But then again I am interested if something like the Klan will rise on the west coast out of your Orientalist movement, targeting whatever asian looking people allready have migrated or remained there in those states TTL?
 
ITL, most Jewish immigrants are moving to the CSA (at this point, a solid supermajority of immigrants to the CSA are Jewish, largely because not many people are moving to the CSA), and most Catholics are going to, well, every other country in the New World.
I predict a Jewish confederate president by 1970 in this timeline.
 
Eh, I mean, that's pretty much impossible to butterfly out. The OTL North did become "more racist" after the Civil War. Largely because scientific racism was on the rise everywhere, the North, the South, Europe, even nations outside of Europe. There's a certain American who likes to portray racism as an entirely a unique phenomenon among Southern whites, when the ideas that motivated Jim Crow were on the rise everywhere. There's also a tendency to treat Jim Crow as the culmination of basically a racist version of Dumbledore's Army going underground in 1865 and emerging when the Union leaves, when that's not really what happened. Most (though not all) Confederate generals in fact, while ardent defenders of slavery and a secession enacted to preserve slavery, generally accepted their defeat in 1865. People stretch this too far by implying they were racial egalitarians or secret abolitionists (especially with R.E. Lee), but they largely weren't the people who gave us Jim Crow.
I know there was racism in in the North. I never imagined "Know-Nothing" levels of it.
 
With the United States basically closing off most immigration have Dominicans started to fill the void with the lack of any serious labor competition?
 
I'm glad that Holmes was able to pass some much needed labor and economic reform, even if it did require drastic matters to overcome the court's big business leanings (and passed some draconian immigration laws). This should help relieve some of the social unrest of the period, but this raises a concern: will the businesses start moving some operations to the Confederacy, where regulations are almost certainly nil? There probably aren't any labor unions down there either. I'm thinking dangerous factory work would be common, for better or worse.

And what exactly are Canada's" punitive" demands? You can't get reparations if you didn't win the war outright and the only major territories I can really see them getting are either Alaska or the Atlantic provinces. On the one hand, British forces occupied most of the Russian settlements there and have full naval superiority, so they could basically say to Russia: "what are you going to do about it?" On the other hand, they didn't secure the interior, it's almost winter and when the Americans attacked British Columbia, the British almost certainly would've had to move most of those forces south to protect either Vancouver or, more importantly, Victoria, where the main naval base was. If they lost that, they likely wouldn't be able to sustain the Alaska operation anyway. Furthermore, there are other demands they must make on Russia and there are limits to how punitive they can be; France would not tolerate too much. Giving Canada the Atlantic provinces would be doable as well but I don't know if it would be so simple. It might require some sort of referendum.

The situation in the Balkans seems to have been somewhat resolved but there is much to be settled in the Caucasus so there's that too.

In Asia, the Russians have wrested most of Korea from the Qing sphere of influence yet their army has suddenly been totally cut off from resupply by the far superior British Pacific fleet in Hawaii and the Qing still hold Vladivostok, so nothing is coming by land either, especially in winter. Though the Russians captured some of Chinese Central Asia, I don't really see the Qing just leaving from Primorye (a major objective for the Manchus) in exchange for a status quo antebellum. Not when they lost Korea.
 
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Chapter 88 - Hell on Haiti
I wonder how the Confederacy was doing in all this?
Ask and ye shall receive!

Hell on Haiti

The Confederate Army in the Haiti War actually did in fact make history in one way. President Cleburne believed that the war in Haiti would create a rush of recruitment and a wave of patriotism that would revitalize popular support for his administration. Although most Confederates did support the war, there was no mass rush of recruitment comparable to the War of Independence or the Spanish-Confederate War. Without such a rush of recruitment, the war made history by turning to an unexpected source to supplement Confederate numbers. Many modern history books, especially in a certain nation in North America, dedicate many pages to black soldiers fighting for the Confederacy in the War of Independence. No such soldiers actually existed excluding a very small regiment organized in 1867 (that only fought one skirmish). The idea of the black soldier had been completely abandoned by the Spanish-Confederate War, and it was only after the cataclysmic end of that war when those handful of black soldiers actually received their pay (the victorious Confederacy famously stiffed those black soldiers on their pay).

However, President Patrick Cleburne was a staunch advocate for the inclusion of blacks in the Confederate Army, both during the War of Independence, Spanish-Confederate War, and now the Haiti War. He had been denied through almost the entire Civil War and denied during the Spanish-Confederate War, but now he was President, and there was nobody above him to veto his ideas. Upon declaration of hostility, President Cleburne gave a measured speech where he called for the recruitment of "freedmen", pragmatically citing that blacks would be better suited for the climate of Haiti. In the same the speech, Cleburne declared that limited conscription would be instituted. During the War of Independence and the Spanish-Confederate War, wealthy Confederates often paid poor individuals to be drafted on their behalf. However, fewer poor Southern whites were willing to take that offer now, especially now that they could just emigrate to the United States. Instead, wealthy Confederates often signed up their slaves instead. For the first time in history, the Confederate States would field a multiracial army.

As a result, the Haitian War was miserable for Confederates of all races. The result of dozens of coups in Haiti and vicious civil wars left the Haitian population heavily armed and trained in warfare. The brutal legacy of the French occupation and guerrilla war, both the conduct of the French and the rebels, created a legacy of brutality that carried itself through Haitian politics. Race was in particular a very touchy subject, especially as Confederate propaganda pointed out correctly that victorious Haitian rebels had murdered almost every innocent white civilian they had come across (French atrocities were not mentioned). Such historical atrocities were actually commonly cited during the Civil War between the Nationals and Provos, especially by Provos who cited the atrocities in post-independence Haiti as an inevitability if the slaves were ever emancipated. Although such atrocities did not place in the Confederacy, the Confederate Civil War was less a slave rebellion and more of a white-on-white civil war. The victorious Nationals thus tried their best to distance themselves against the notion of a "slave rebellion", which meant endorsing most negative stereotypes and impressions of Haiti. The Confederates were in mood to treat Haiti with a light hand. In contrast, Haitian society united against the Confederate invasion, as the symbolism of everything loathed by Haitian society. Although slavery was being phased out, the gradual tendency of the process meant that the Confederacy still had slaves in 1895. A divided Haitian political class united and rallied Haitian society against the "slaver invaders."

In theory, the Confederate States declared victory fairly early, as Confederate soldiers landed on most Haitian ports, defeating the Haitians due to their vastly superior armament, largely a product of Mahone's military modernization. However, atrocities quickly piled up as the Haitian Army was chased to the interior of the nation, forced into fighting an irregular guerrilla war against the Confederates. For example, both sides committed atrocities on civilian villages thought of aiding the other side. The Haitians held a special hatred for black Confederate soldiers, who were seen as "race traitors". When taken prisoner, black Confederates were typically gruesomely tortured to death (with photographs taken), which meant that black Confederates quickly began to no longer surrender (and rarely took Haitian prisoners). The Confederate Army in Haiti was majority white (about 75%, as most free black Confederates were too young) and white soldiers primarily composed most "combat" battalions - which saw the harshest action when CSA troops landed under Haitian fire. In contrast, Black soldiers were relegated to "support roles", which included hauling supplies, cooking, cleaning, and other activities. However, "support" was a term quickly expanded to anti-guerrilla sweeps, including reprisal operations against Haitian villages thought to be supporting guerrillas. The one weakness of the Haitian resistance movement was that although they spun the war as one of the black race against white slaver invaders, the face of terror on both sides of the war was essentially black. Of course, many whites also died in the war, especially from diseases (Confederate logistics had improved from the Spanish-Confederate War, but it was not exactly the strength of the nation), but also from battle. In the first weeks of the invasion, Confederate casualties were almost entirely white, but after the cities were secured, Confederate casualties were fairly evenly biracial.

Coastal Haitian cities, such as Port of Prince, were essentially run under tight military occupation. Despite widespread racism of the Confederate occupiers, these coastal cities were generally safer and more desirable places to live than the war-torn interior, simply because the Haitian resistance was operating out of the interior of the country. In particular, some well-meaning Confederates who had more egalitarian racial views actually willingly migrated to coastal Haiti to volunteer in the local administration of these cities. Ironically, because almost nobody in the Confederacy wanted to go to Haiti, the only educated people who went to Haiti had better intentions than normal. The Confederacy was not picky, in many cases, the Confederate military administration was run by foreigners, such as Romanian immigrant Henry Moskowitz. In particular, so many of the administrators were European immigrant Jews (who the Confederates accepted, citing the legacy of Confederate Founding Father Judah Benjamin), the Haitian military administration in Port of Prince was nicknamed "the Jew Crew" in much of the North American media. Outside of the cities, famine and disease killed tens, if not hundreds of thousands, causing thousands of refugees to flood into the cities. Although in extreme scarcity circumstances, human suffering widely proliferated, the relative technical competence of the "Jew Crew" actually drew a great deal of accolades among the Confederate press.

In addition, although the Confederate officer corps continued to hold a very low opinion of black soldiers, white soldiers serving alongside them actually seemed to warm up significantly to those black soldiers. Most Confederates expected the mass defection of black soldiers (in fact, only Cleburne really did not expect this). Cleburne was largely proven correct - although some did defect, this was not a particularly common outcome (possibly aided by the language barrier). [1] One of the most famous and controversial events during the war was when five white soldiers were court-martialed for going AWOL for a week to undertake a rescue mission (prohibited by their commanding officer) for a black Confederate scout who had been captured. A military tribunal sentenced all five to death, but President Cleburne personally pardoned them. The pardon was remarkably controversial in Confederate newspapers, with both supporters and opponents of the pardon debating earnestly. A poll taken shortly after found that a modest majority of Confederates approved of the pardon, but a narrow majority disapproved of the actual rescue operation.

Besides such incidents, in general, the war actually did succeed in uniting much of Confederate society, but besides its massive human costs (both for Confederates and for Haitians), it had negative international implications. Most countries didn't strongly protest the invasion of Haiti - the only nation that would have cared was the United States, preoccupied as it was by World War I. However, newspapers around North America and Europe loved to cover new atrocities in Haiti, both committed by Confederate soldiers and by Haitian rebels. Stories of flaying, torture, mass rape, mass graves, and cannibalism on both sides became widespread. Indeed, President Cleburne had united a nation, but now there were questions about whether he would be able to "win" the war. Ironically, the atrocities greatly weakened American antipathy towards the Confederacy, largely because the United States no longer considered the Confederacy a threat to the United States. A small proportion of American jingoists had always called for the forcible inclusion of the Confederacy back into the United States, which was largely rejected because most Americans viewed it as inopportune. By 1900, the vast majority of Americans actively did not want any of their old Southern states back.
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[1] I read a study that surveyed Korean War vets and found that serving with a black person, even in a support role, significantly reduced prejudice. I think the same phenomenon happens here, at least among the enlisted men.
 
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