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

Chapter 109 - Enomoto's Folly
Enomoto's Folly
The Japanese Minister of the Navy, Enomoto Takeaki, had lived a storied life. One of the loyalist anti-Imperial forces in the Boshin War, Enomoto had taken remnants of the Shogunal Army to establish the Ezo Republic in Hokkaido, where he hoped to resist the Imperials with Russian aid. That had never actually happened because Imperial forces ultimately arrived and defeated him. Although he was arrested for treason, he ultimately escaped the death penalty and due to the nature of Japanese politics at the time (which grew to respect those on the losing side of the Boshin War), slowly became rehabilitated in public eyes. Enomoto easily won a seat in parliament and became one of the most forceful advocates for a larger navy. The Japanese "triumph" at the Battle of Miyako gave huge public support to Enomoto, who quickly became a hero overnight in Japan, as even the surviving admirals credited their relative success only to Enomoto's fierce advocacy for funding the navy.

Enomoto himself also had foreign policy views. He was a fierce advocate of Japanese settlement abroad. Not necessarily imperialism (since he encouraged Japanese emigration to nations in Latin America where Japan had no hopes of exerting political control upon), though the two sometimes went hand-in-hand. The famous Japanese "no" to the Spanish peace offering was authored by Enomoto after he was promoted to Foreign Minister, who became a further hero in Japan as a result. His actual reply was a bit longer and elucidated on why Japan was rejecting the deal. He did not believe Spain would be amenable to Japanese immigrants, but he believed an independent Philippines aided by Japan would be. His letter set forth the Japanese position that Japan was not willing to accept a peace settlement that did not "satisfactorily settle the issue of Filipino independence." Interestingly, Enomoto cited the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro in his response, arguing that the Confederate States of America secured Cuban autonomy even though they had decisively lost the naval war. At the bare minimum, a similar arrangement had to be outlined for the Philippines.

The response blindsided Spanish diplomats, who believed that Japan would be unable to exert influence on the Philippines even if independence were secured. However, Enomoto's mindset was simply too different from colonial powers. He was less interested in expanding Japanese territory or gaining access to natural resources - he wanted land for Japanese to emigrate too (Japan was undergoing a large population boom). As such, he cared little what kind of regime took power in the Philippines, as long as they were friendly to Japan and perhaps even leased out a naval base.

A surge of nationalism enveloped Japan, as common citizens signed up in droves, donating pots, tin cans, and cash in order to quickly support a rapid naval rearmament. When the Japanese began acquiring around for anyone who would be willing to sell old navy ships, the Spanish were alarmed at how quickly they were beginning to rearm. The Spanish began harrassing Japanese trade and fishing ships (coastal batteries doomed plans for an actual blockade) and found incredible resistance even from merchants. Enomoto himself had turned to old friends - the Russians immediately agreed to sell two older battleships to Japan in exchange for also buying the "unsellable" colony. For decades, the Empire of Russia had been trying to sell a money pit colony in Aljaska, their largest, least populated, and least profitable territory. By 1899, the population was probably already plurality Japanese - and it was continuing to bleed money. The deal was mocked abroad as "Enomoto's Folly", but he saw it as a perfectly fine price to pay, especially since he could also encourage further Japanese emigration.

The possible arrival of two Russian battleships quickly turned the tide. Spain threw in the towel, agreeing to negotiate over the political sovereignty of the Philippines. However, that became increasingly challenging because at Japanese insistence, Filipino representatives were invited. And worst of all - none of the Filipino revolutionaries agreed with each other. They were often fiercely opposed to each other. Andres Bonifacio and Emiliano Aguinaldo had fallen out of favor with each other. The whole conference became a mess - and the Treaty of Ensenada became one of the most overly negotiated peace agreements in history. Ultimately, a "Confederacy of the Philippines" based vaguely on the Constitution of the Confederacy of Cuba would be a self-governing dominion of Spain, but the various states of the Philippines would also have their own constitutions, drawn vaguely based on the Confederate constitution.

Ultimately, the representatives of Bonifacio totally abandoned the peace talks, which divided the colony into various self-governing states. Aguinaldo, with Japanese pushing, accepted being relegated to Luzon. Spanish authorities were totally wiped out in Luzon - and Aguinaldo had no real way to expand further. The Free State of Luzon and Free State of Zamboanga, both unfriendly to Spain, were established - and in a quick bid to prevent either from claiming Palawan, the Spanish cleverly transferred all of those territories to the Sulu Sultanate. The Visayas had remained largely loyal, so the Dominion of the Visayas was the only Filipino state that openly, rather than begrudgingly, recognized the Spanish monarchy. Furthermore, the Filipino states were prohibited from restricting Japanese immigration, fulfilling Enomoto's goal. Finally, to maintain parity, the Japanese were required to sell one of the newly purchased Russian battleships to Spain, for a price that was only 73% of what the battleship was purchased for (all Spain could raise) in hopes of maintaining "balance" in the Pacific.

The Treaty of Ensenada immediately led to continuing warfare in Luzon, as forces siding with Bonifacio rejected the Treaty, immediately sparking the Luzonian Civil War. In addition, the Aljaska purchase quickly inflamed a political crisis in one nation: Canada. Canadian newspapers quickly ran omnipresent articles about the "Yellow Peril on our doorsteps", radicalizing many Canadians. Omnipresent anti-Japanese sentiment quickly inspired Canada's parliament to reform the Canadian Militia into a standing army - and the obsession of an invasion from the South (which in fact did happen less than a decade ago), were replaced almost overnight by an obsession with a war against Japan.
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Great analysis. I think the ultimate answer is actually more realpolitik/pragmatic than an issue of legal claims. There's one reason why Mexico doesn't demand much of that territory - namely that during the Confederate Civil War (which is when Mexico moves in to take land), the Comanche run wild in those territories (pushed out of US New Mexico into basically easier-to-dominate terrain). I will probably add in a section in the Comanche chapter where Mexico tries to claim that territory, but when they come knocking, the Comanche scare them off, which legitimizes the Comanche further in Confederate eyes - and the Mexicans agree to leave it alone.
I have been reflecting further on this issue. One option for Mexico would be to accept that everything North of the 32nd parallel was seceded in the Gadsden purchase, and how the US & CS choose to sort that out is up to them, but claim that South of the 32nd parallel they only recognise Texas with the 1836 borders. If I were advising the Mexican government, I'd suggest taking as much as they can, without irritating or appearing threatening to the US. Claiming a wedge of territory between New Mexico and Texas may lead to US intervention, whereas claiming the area South of the Nueces River probably won't. But the claimed legal basis for this area alone looks absurd.
If we get into some more pop culture aspects of this alternate timeline later down the road, what are the odds that the original concept for Disney's Mulan (titled China Doll where a girl in China faces oppression and tyranny until whisked off to the West by a British Prince Charming) is used given that Britain and China are this timeline's version of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance? Will be interesting to see how the alliance develops anyway. Probably should've posted this comment sooner but it wasn't on my mind until recently when I looked this up.
Japanese Alaska, eh? Why not. Although I do wonder how this will impact Anglo-Japanese relations, now that Japan borders Canada.
In OTL there was a border dispute between the US and Canada over the Alaska panhandle. By the time this occurred, 1898, relations between the US & UK/Canada were such that it was settled peacefully. If UK/Canada was disputing a border with Russia, it's more likely that the British side would have asserted its position militarily. If Alaska had been sold to Japan before this, Japan in 1898 would have probably conceded to the British.
In OTL there was a border dispute between the US and Canada over the Alaska panhandle. By the time this occurred, 1898, relations between the US & UK/Canada were such that it was settled peacefully. If UK/Canada was disputing a border with Russia, it's more likely that the British side would have asserted its position militarily. If Alaska had been sold to Japan before this, Japan in 1898 would have probably conceded to the British.
The maritime border is actually still disputed. Dixon Entrance is still contested between Canada and the United States. This is largely the result of the area being quite abundant with salmon and other fish. And this being Canada fishing and hunting rights can be quite politically charged. Why this has been still unsettled is a mystery but it could one day go the International Court of Justice to be resolved.
Chapter 110 - The Schlieffen Plan
The Schlieffen Plan
Bismarck's death was mourned in North Germany, but few knew what to think of the man. Many blamed what was seen as a truly disastrous foreign policy situation on Bismarck. But others alleged that if his plans had succeeded, he would have crushed the French, unified all of Germany, and established a global superpower. Moreover, Bismarck was a constant thorn in the North Germany government, appearing almost constantly in opposition through the ages. His constantly shifting loyalties and coalitions made him the enigma of North German politics. He had earlier placed his deputy, the archconservative Hans von Kanitz as Prime Minister of North Germany, but quickly found out to his chagrin that Kanitz was actually too conservative for Bismarck. In particular, Kanitz's insistence on agricultural tariffs annoyed the tariffs, and Bismarck viewed him as a reflexive Anglophobe, which seemed terrifying when the United Kingdom was one of the only countries not to have a grudge against North Germany. It was on Kanitz's government where the North German government failed to jump to Great Britain's support in World War I - which was to prove to be the end of the Kanitz government.

Bismarck, forging a new coalition largely based around the national liberals, eventually out-maneuvered his rival. Toppling the Kanitz government, Bismarck amusingly became celebrated by German liberals, especially when he declared that he was too ill (being confined to a wheelchair and nearly blind) to actually lead the new government. The National Liberals quickly selected the Hanoverian Rudolf von Bennigsen, who solidified the political path of the North German Confederation - vaguely nationalist, vaguely liberal, and trying to walk a tight-rope between liberal industrialists and conservative Prussian junkers. Moreover, relations immediately improved between North Germany and the United Kingdom from lukewarm to extremely warm. The British were also happy to see Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz resign from the German government, in protest of the North German government's refusal to greenlight additional funds for the navy. Some liberals were unhappy with what was essentially seen as a political and social truce (the Prussian three-class system remained), but most went along with the program, as ideas of Social Darwinism had rapidly proliferated among German liberals - and it was easy to argue that North Germany was in a "fight for survival" whereupon "all classes and political groupings must unite."

Although North Germany had somewhat of a colonial empire and a modest navy, the threat would come from land. The North German General Staff openly admitted to themselves that they believed the survival of the nation was at stake. Namely, North Germany had to deal with enemies in every direction - namely, the Danes, Austrians, Russians, French, and Bavarians. The Danes were the easiest to deal with - Danish nationalists raged when North Germany signed an agreement whereupon the North Germans would be allowed to base their ships at the British island of Heligoland - and the two were to coordinate "commercial and naval policy in the North and Baltic Seas." This was viewed an implicit threat to the Danes, who took the message, albeit unhappily.

Although German foreign policy had believed they could pull Bavaria and France apart based on German pan-nationalism, the ruthless Kulturkampf in North Germany as well as North German support to the widely unpopular Union of Rome alienated many Bavarians, who saw in the French shared Catholicism and resistance to "Prussianism." Baden and Wurttemberg remained diplomatic toss-ups who were furiously wooed, but Bavaria quickly became a lost cause. Alongside unwavering Austrian hostility to North Germany (and also increasingly close Austro-Bavarian relations), that region seemed like a diplomatic bust.

The only remaining diplomatic wild card was Russia. However, the Franco-Russian Alliance signed as a result of World War I (aimed primarily at the United Kingdom) seemed to force North Germany into hostile relations with Russia that it did not want. King Wilhelm II contacted his cousin Nicholas II extensively, but the North German General Staff was pessimistic. However, at the very least, war with Russia didn't seem guaranteed, and hopes were had it could be stopped.

Assuming Austrian hostility and an attempt by the Austrians to avenge the 1866 war, General Moltke the Elder drew up war plans against Austria, which under General Schlieffen, quickly developed into a grand war plan in case of a continental war. France was presumed hostile in any war against Austria - and Russia was most likely hostile based on the Franco-Russian Alliance. Although many North Germans viewed a three-front war as a death sentence, the Schlieffen plan sought to neutralize those fronts. One of those powers had to be knocked out as soon as possible - and it was decided that the Austrians were the best target. In one German general's argument "whatever the Austrians promise the Hungarians, we can promise them double." The North German strategy was to promise Hungarian independence, whatever territory they wanted, and more or less anything they could ever demand in exchange for the Kingdom of Hungary simply sitting the war out. The same deal was not extended to the Czechs due to a large ethnic German population in Bohemia that the North Germans sought to integrate, rather inconvenient for the North German General Staff given their plans of sweeping from Silesia and Saxony into Prague, largely in a repeat of the Austro-Prussian War (but more successful, as Saxony was aligned with North Germany this time).

The North Germans also believed that the Austrians could also be facing a possible second front thanks to Italy, especially after the North Germans and Italians penned a secret agreement whereupon the North Germans wouldn't object to Italian aims on many mixed German/Italian regions such as the Tyrol, as well as most of the Trieste region. The Schlieffen plan was motivated by the optimistic belief that the Austrian Empire would collapse as soon as North German forces swept into Vienna.

In contrast to the Austrians, the French with their infamous focus on elan and superior numbers, were expected to attack. The North Germans began the construction of the famous Siegfried Wall, a set of fortifications between the North German Saarland on one side and the French Alsace and Bavarian Palatinate on the other side. The North Germans believed that the French had two ways to go around the wall - namely an invasion through neutral Belgium (as guaranteed by the United Kingdom) or Baden and Wurttemberg. Both were seen as diplomatic triumphs for North Germany, since a French violation of any of those neutral states would either push them into the hands of Prussian-led Germanism or pull the United Kingdom into the war. Hopes were also given to bringing in Spain (with its fellow Hohenzollern monarch) into the war, but the North Germans weren't exactly sure why the Spanish would join. Regardless, Spain was helpful in one sense - a vengeful Spain quickly rebuilt its navy after the Spanish-Japanese War by paying North German shipyards that weren't making any ships for the North German Navy. Ironically, despite a rather modest navy, North Germany had world-class shipyards - they were just making battleships for foreign countries instead (in order to fund further North German army expansions).

With Austria neutralized and France kept busy, the North Germans believed they could then grind down the Bavarians with superior industry and numbers. The biggest problem however with this war plan was they didn't have a good contingency if Russia entered the war. Russia was increasingly becoming the industrial powerhouse of Europe simply due to its large size. Unlike the Austrians, the Russians had a lot of ground they could give up. Eventually, it was settled that the only way to win was to keep Russia out of the war. And they believed the only way to keep Russia out of the war was to keep it busy elsewhere. German technological missions were basically deployed to every single country that could conceivably keep Russia busy. Namely, Sweden (which had a notoriously Germanophile royal family), the Ottoman Empire, Qing Empire, and Afghan Emirate. Regardless, Schlieffen himself had no real good answers in case Russia entered the war. Wilhelm II didn't really bother ever asking, since he just assumed he was such a charming person, he could charm his cousin, the Tsar, into either staying neutral or even supporting North Germany in violation of its treaty obligations. Little did Wilhelm II himself know that the Hohenzollerns themselves were the ticking time bomb that would bring Europe to its knees.
Chapter 53.5 - Spanish-Confederate War (Wikibox)
This was really overdue.

Spanish-Confederate War (Wikibox)

I'm hopeful to see a post focusing on life in the treaty port of Savannah - a Spanish-ruled libertine enclave in the middle of the Prohibitionist Confederacy? What could go wrong?

I wonder how long it will last... will it still be Spanish-ruled by the modern era? Hell, with this TL, I'm not even sure there will be a Confederacy by the modern era. Anything could happen!
I'm hopeful to see a post focusing on life in the treaty port of Savannah - a Spanish-ruled libertine enclave in the middle of the Prohibitionist Confederacy? What could go wrong?

I wonder how long it will last... will it still be Spanish-ruled by the modern era? Hell, with this TL, I'm not even sure there will be a Confederacy by the modern era. Anything could happen!
A smaller version of new orleans full of vice and things the preachers can rail against. Temptation for the young and those eager to see the world.
I'm hopeful to see a post focusing on life in the treaty port of Savannah - a Spanish-ruled libertine enclave in the middle of the Prohibitionist Confederacy? What could go wrong?

I wonder how long it will last... will it still be Spanish-ruled by the modern era? Hell, with this TL, I'm not even sure there will be a Confederacy by the modern era. Anything could happen!
I was thinking it could become a Hong Kong analogue; a Europeanised port city rather more peaceful and civilised than the area surrounding it, and it would be an economic trophy for a future Confederate regime.