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. TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    Yes, it is pretty much 100% government-run.

    Presumably none of the workforce at the state arsenals are slaves. Industrial factory work actually requires a degree of skill/education for even the base laborers - and there's no way they're going to be educating slaves in any serious numbers. Totally out of the question for the planter class to tolerate government investment in educating non-whites. The worker base will probably all be poor, but relatively well-educated whites (ie, think rural guys who learned to read in bible class).
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  2. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    @TastySpam : I have to disagree about slave labor at these plants. At a minimum somebody has to sweep the floors, clean the toilets, empty the trash, work in the cafeteria. There are all sorts of other grunt jobs around a mill that don't require literacy or much training. OTL you had slaves working in iron forges and mills. In government factories, and in private ones, there will be a sharp line dividing "white" work from "nigger" work. This sort of thing went on until the not too distant past OTL under Jim Crow.

    One of the thoughts in the CSA OTL was that as long as the poor/lower class whites could always be above the blacks, the fact that political power stayed with the elite would be palatable. The division of work between white and black is an example of this.
     
  3. TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I don't disagree, I just wasn't really considering that kind of stuff as "industrial factory work." I was referring to stuff like working on the actual lines, not support services outside of the factory. Also, I think that still means a negligible amount, because most of the workforce is "factory work" and not "service work."

    That being said, I'm not sure if the government can get away with owning slaves. Part of the reason the state can own these arsenals is because the planter class can disdain industrialism as "oh, dirty government work", while thinking owning slaves is a prestigious thing that should be only open to them. Thus, I don't think the government would own any slaves - but I could see some the army contracting with some local plantation owner to accomplish cleaning/cooking services (that he dispatches his slaves to do).
     
  4. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    OTL the CS government did hire slaves on contract for certain work as well as commandeering them for things like working on fortifications. One of the things in the CSA was the idea that while the elite might have a lot of slaves "any" white man could aspire to be a slave owner. It was in the interest of the elite that slave ownership be as wide as possible, even if only a few slaves. Having said that, slave labor for the arsenal and other spots on contract with owners would certainly happen.
     
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  5. traveller76 Member

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    Sounds like the Confederate armed forces become like OTL PLAN in China. The military owns and manages businesses like farms and industries to support themselves and earn money.
     
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  6. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

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    This Braxton Bragg is amazing.
     
  7. Mac Gregor Well-Known Member

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    Nice update!
     
  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 15 - The End of the Mexican Civil War

    TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    The End of the Mexican Civil War
    By 1869, support for Benito Juarez's rebellion against the Imperial government was flagging. Napoleon III's diplomatic triumphs in helping end the American Civil War and "winning" the Luxembourg Crisis against Prussia with the assistance of Habsburg Austria gave Habsburg Mexico a remarkable shot in the arm. As French forces arrived in greater numbers than ever, several more pragmatic liberals began to defect from Juarez's rebellion, seeing the only hopes for any kind of future Mexican liberalism in cozying up to the relatively moderate Mexican Emperor. When Maximilian offered amnesty terms to Benito Juarez, Juarez sent him back the severed head of his envoy. However, the wily general Porfiro Diaz, widely respected for several victories against Imperial forces, and for being captured and escaping Imperial custody multiple times, decided that the war was truly hopeless. He threw in the towel by having his personal troops arrest Juarez, and sending his brutalized corpse directly to Mexico City. Emperor Maximilian was reportedly disgusted at the spectacle, but nevertheless accepted what was clearly meant to be a peace offer.

    The Civil War had left Mexico a wreck. However, the reconstruction of Mexico saw no shortage of foreign powers willing to help. The newly inaugurated President Abraham Lincoln appeared to be willing to make amends with the Emperor for his previous support for Benito Juarez, and Maximilian I was advised by his French backers that drawing closer to America was probably a better bet than drawing closer to the Confederacy, which was largely an exporter of raw materials, not an importer. In what shocked and horrified Confederate diplomats, Emperor Maximilian brought back to life the old McLane–Ocampo Treaty that had died during the start of the American Civil War. The new treaty, the Rosencrans-Almonte Treaty, offered US troops and ships free passage through Mexico in exchange for regular payments from the US to Mexico, reciprocal tariffs (which largely benefited Mexico), and the right for Americans to construct a railroad across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec that would link ports in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean together. Although the railroad proved totally unworkable and went bankrupt, President Lincoln notably bailed out the project during the end of his term as President, causing the project to continue. The US-Mexico entente further freaked out Confederate planners, who realized that the Union now possessed the power to strike at the Confederacy from all sides if it so choosed.

    President Lincoln's easy money policies in the wake of the Panic of 1872 totally altered the US-Mexico relationship. With interests so low for borrowers, Emperor Maximilian became one of the top borrowers of American funds. He borrowed both enough to start a railroad building spree similar to that Lincoln had overseen and to refinance all of his loans with the French, paying off all of the French loans with American loans with lower interest rates. As reconstruction of the country continued, it seemed that Emperor Maximilian's Mexico would quickly become a much more successful version of the economic model that the Confederacy attempted to create. Like the Confederacy, Mexico was largely an exporter of raw materials to the international market. However, unlike the Confederacy, Mexico would quickly find itself graced with a remarkably large network of railroads bringing goods straight from the giant Haciendas to various ports, shipping goods to the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Prussia, and other industrialized countries. Great wealth flowed into Mexico during this process, although most of it was either reinvested back into infrastructure or accumulated in the hands of the hacienda-owning elite, with only some filtering down the poorer farmers (campesinos). However, a nascent middle-class began to grow faster, albeit largely to serve the needs of the land-owning elite.

    Mexican politics quickly became dominated by Miguel Miramón of the Conservatives and Porfirio Diaz of the Liberals and although it became clear that both actually grew to dislike the Emperor, they both supported his actual agenda. The Conservatives saw "Maximilian-ism" as good for the land-owning elite and the Liberals saw his project of railroad modernization as bringing Mexico into a new future. On social issues, Maximilian largely but not entirely sided with the conservatives. Most of the privileges of the Catholic Church were restored, a centralized government with little local autonomy was established, and Roman Catholicism declared the official state religion. Besides that however, Maximilian showed relatively interest in pushing demands from the church to say for example, re-confiscate land that had been confiscated from the Church. Although he took the side of the Conservatives and the Church on most symbolic issues, he spent no political capital re-litigating their past grievances. This helped build some sort of rapport with Porfirio Diaz, who in theory led the opposition but largely agreed with Maximilian's agenda.

    Although Maximilian's policies created incredible social inequality, some radicals praised him after threatened to fire his Prime Minister Miramon after Miramon attempted to order the newly formed Countryside Police (tasked with defending trade routes from bandits) to murder peasants who protested low wages and poor conditions, especially land confiscations that often happened as a result of Maximilian's drive to build more railroads and telegraph lines. Maximilian wasn't concerned with revolutionizing the position of peasants, but he deplored the idea that his Imperial Guard would be used to brutalize peasants for simply expressing their opinion. Saying something akin to "let them shout", he vetoed further attempts to use violent political repression against peasants, a caution that proved largely correct at first when the staid two-party system in Mexico (the Miramon-Diaz Axis) largely shut out other political forces, allowing Maximilian's policies to continue unhindered. However, the Imperial Guard continued to brutalize any peasants caught vandalizing or sabotaging railroad projects, which quickly grew despised for often confiscating peasant land in order to ferry goods from the large haciendas to the international markets.

    The situation of being an elite landowner was so lucrative in Mexico - and the tendency of the Mexican government to basically bestow titles of nobility on anyone willing to move to Mexico and operate a hacienda of their own so appealing to many parvenus who wished for the "prestige" of nobility, various wealthy, parvenu capitalists from abroad decided to move to Mexico and operate their own haciendas, often by purchasing from short-sighted peasants and consolidating the land. The scale of campesino dispossession only grew to new heights as foreign entrepreneurs decided to make their fortune in Mexico. On one hand, most peasants viewed this as brutal foreign colonial and capitalist exploitation of native Mexicans, but on the other hand, others (particularly those aligned with the Imperial government) viewed this as a way of importing foreign talent and human capital. After all, handing out titles of nobility was basically free. For example, although the "New Nobility" was loathed by the peasantry, many of the children of the new nobility became some of the most celebrated educators, doctors, and social reformers in Mexican history.
     
  9. traveller76 Member

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    How many Mexicans decide to emigrate to the Union?
     
  10. Chris Triangle Goldfish Enthusiast

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    A couple of thoughts about the border:

    Firstly, about those tariffs. The border is going to be really porous at first. Any tariffs by either side seem likely to become easier to evade; neither side has the resources to police the border. As a result, you'd get all kinds of contraband flowing between the countries and more opportunities for corruption. For example, if the South doesn't put tariffs on European imports, enterprising people people can import them to the Confederacy and then sneak them North to sell to Yankees. Whether the CSA wants to enforce this depends on whether the Yankees are willing to make it worth their while.

    Many Southern whites are going to want to find work in Northern factories, just as they did IOTL. Some may prefer to be migrants who would work in a factory, raise money, and then return back South again but others would probably just move altogether. Neither side wants a tidal wave of migration. But this isn't like Canada where the border is long but mostly empty. It's long, often changes directions, follows multiple geographically arbitrary lines and has lots of towns right across from one another. The two sides need to come to some agreement about how to control the flow of goods and people. There needs to be a good deal of communication between both sides and infrastructure for keeping some level of control over the border.

    Will disgruntled slaveowners from the border states move to the Confederacy after Lincoln's slave buyback runs out of cash? If this occurs, then it might function as a relief valve for their rage and reduce the former slave-owning class's influence there.


    And about industry

    Wouldn't there eventually be a fair amount of American capital available for railroad building in the Confederacy? There are many, many industries that can justify expanding railroads from the border southwards without even having to turn to the government. Even if we accept the exaggerated notion of a planter class completely unable and unwilling to invest in new industries or accept that some social stigma associated with doing business with the confederacy limits northern investment, a wealthy businessmen could just move down there from the North, and set up shop in hopes of becoming a railroad baron. They don't call it the gilded age for nothing.

    Yes, the CSA won't develop much heavy or high tech industry on its own save for these government-run arsenals (as you stated). Light industry on the other hand, would be a different story. Until proper railroads, bridges and ports are available, certain types of Northern industrial products (such as building materials) might initially have a harder time competing with local manufacturers, even without tariffs, thanks to the costs of transportation over very large distances with a limited rail network that has breaks of gauge. The CSA has a need for relatively skilled workers and engineers just to maintain the machines they already have and to manage basic processing and distribution of raw materials such as cotton, minerals, lumber, tobacco, and various animals products. The eventual discovery of usable coal and oil deposits in the CSA's territory would greatly accelerate this, since their extraction cannot really be outsourced. Anyway, it's not hard for people involved in these types of industry to branch out into other things. Communities can grow around these industries and begin the development of more. The result, I think, is at least some economic diversity and many, smaller lighter industries dispersed throughout the vast region, often serving local customers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  11. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    Depending on the circumstances, there may be some northern investment in the CSA but there are plenty of places to invest in the USA including railroads and if the USA does as OTL building railroads in the west also includes land grants, I very much doubt that extra sweetener would be happening in the CSA given the constitutional prohibitions about of improvements. The other issue about northern investment is that CS currency is likely, though not necessarily, to be less solid than US currency which means returns could be diluted. Another potential problem is that something like railroad construction, or in fact any factory construction, is going to involve slave labor and once the railroad is running or factory working there are going to be some slaves working for the enterprise. I expect that the USA is going to pass some laws about profits off slavery which makes repatriating investments problematic. There will be some northern investment in the CSA, but overall probably not much.
     
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  12. LuckyLuciano Well-Known Member

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    Interested to see how succession in Imperial Mexico plays out ITTL. OTL, whilst Maximilian adopted Augustin Iturbide and groomed him for the throne, it was really all just a ploy to try and get his brother Karl Ludwig to give him one of his sons as a heir, as he did not view the Iturbides as having royal blood. Assuming Ferdinand Karl becomes heir due to recently being born/being the youngest son, might there be succession conflict on Maximillian's death between the arguably more legitimate and Mexican Augustin and Ferdinand?
     
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  13. Chris Triangle Goldfish Enthusiast

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    I think there would be a fair amount, just not much compared to what is needed or what would be available if the South hadn't seceded. It also depends on what kind of investment it is. Yankees generally won't give a damn about helping the South start an industrial revolution but they would be happy to help finance a railroad because there is obvious and substantial preexisting demand for moving freight since an independent CSA would almost certainly be the USA's largest source of imports and its largest destination for exports. Thanks to their proximity and the ease of communication, infrastructure projects in any of the Confederate states would also be simpler and lower risk than ventures in Latin America, Asia and Africa, where railroads often had to start from scratch and import large numbers of supplies and laborers. Of course that's assuming the Confederates are receptive to Yankee investment...

    As you pointed out, in any TL, there would have to be an increasingly sense of the blatant turpitude of doing business complacent with slavery and this is going to come to a head sooner or later. I think the response would most likely in gradual restrictions on business practices, with the severity mirroring public opinion. Loopholes and all sorts of illicit behavior would be inevitable, yes, but new laws do decrease investment for sure.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
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  14. TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    These are all great points, thank you all for your input. I may have given an impression of Confederate industry that could be over-interpreted. I hope the following addresses some of your points and questions. In thinking of these questions, I do think they helped refine my thinking on this complicated subject and I think they will be integrated in future updates (ie, CSA economy updates).

    1. I was largely describing the 1868-1874 years, and part of the reason that the CSA isn't developing a lot of new rail is that it's currently fixing the rail it already has (from the devastation of the Civil War). The Civil War is even more devastating to the South than OTL, and most of this time period is ironically, economic reconstruction.

    2. Tariffs are also even easier to avoid due to Mexican-US reciprocity. The CSA may like to imagine most of its cotton is going to UK/France, but no, it's going to the US like you suggested.

    3. Lincoln's slave buyback doesn't really run out of cash because of his easy money policy.

    4. The easy money policies of the US means that the US goes on an investment spree, but not a lot of it goes to the South. Most of what the South is spending on is reconstruction, not building new railroads. Finally, the political problem isn't Northerners getting mad at businessmen for investing - it's Southerners who aren't going to be happy if their railroads are owned by Northern industrial businessmen. Some of it obviously does, but there are a lot of reasons cutting against this, mostly in the South. Presumably, Southern railroads will get a lot more funding when British and French banking recovers (honestly, probably around 1874-1875). US investment will pick up eventually, but it's a little sensitive as of 1870. As a general rule of thumb, the CSA is a lot more anti-USA than vice versa (it took a lot more damage and it's the smaller, weaker country).

    No spoilers, but there doesn't seem to be much appetite in the USA for another war. As of 1872, Lincolnite National Union types have the support of most of the (former slave-owning) Border States, so they're vehemently anti-war. The Republican Party of 1872 is more or less a business-first, so their primary foreign policy concern is tearing down the barriers to Northern investment in the South, not erecting more.

    5. I was probably imprecise in my description of industry. As you mentioned, there are no meaningful tariffs that can be enforced and although light industry remains appealing, the low tariffs means that it's simply easier to ship in consumer goods from more efficient Northern factories. When I meant light industry, I was thinking more stuff like consumer goods factories, not factories that say, turn Southern cotton into pure fabric. Processed goods factories will likely eventually take off eventually in the CSA, though much less factories at the end of the supply chain (such as turning fabrics into shirts). Keep in mind a lot of goods processing can be done at home (think cottage industries), as opposed to be in big industrial factories. I think I was trying to communicate that the South has industry, but the "giant industrial factories" that people think of when they think of factories are mostly a state-dominated enterprise.
     
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  15. Chris Triangle Goldfish Enthusiast

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    Ah, I see. Thanks for the update/insight on the industry in the CSA and on the railroad situation. I think you're already painting a fascinating, thorough and refreshingly realistic picture of the early Confederacy. Can't wait to see more.

    PS. One thing I wondered about as I read your post: do you think Confederate government might end up showing shall we say "loose" regard for foreign patents/intellectual property and wind up producing various counterfeit goods? Just curious. Couldn't resist asking about the illegal activities that will go on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  16. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    While Mexico seems to be doing somewhat better, the whole looming threat of what'll happen when the peasants really get fed up with all this crap might turn out for the worst for all concerned. Hopefully it won't quite come to that.
     
  17. Threadmarks: Chapter 16 - The Birth of Mittelafrika and Death of Wilhelm

    TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    The Birth of Mittelafrika and Death of Wilhelm
    In 1876, Otto von Bismarck, aware that the Belgian King Leopold II was gathering funds to try to hire an expedition to the Congo, had no intention of letting such a large prize go. Admittedly, the Congo was widely considered by almost everyone to be a malarial hellhole. And Bismarck himself thought most colonial projects were a stupid waste of money, unlike Leopold II. However, he had to admit they were rather prestigious, which would help in wooing the Southern German Kingdoms with the power of German nationalism. In addition, unlike Leopold II, Bismarck had the entire support of the German government behind anything he wanted. As a result, he could easily outbid Leopold. However, Bismarck was also a keen diplomat and he knew it would be difficult for a rather large power to take such a large swath of land. Instead, Bismarck approached Leopold II personally, pointing out that the Prussian government could easily outbid Leopold II on anything he wanted to buy. Bismarck presented Leopold with an offer - the Prussian government would cover 50% of the costs of anything King Leopold II wanted and in exchange, any colonial gains by King Leopold II would shared 50/50 in a condominium with the King of Prussia in his personal capacity. If Leopold did not take this offer, Bismarck threatened to outbid on anything else. Leopold agreed, and the International African Association was founded, 50% owned by King Leopold II of Belgium and 50% owned by King Wilhelm I of Prussia.
    Otto von Bismarck had four goals in governing the Kingdom of Prussia - defeating the Socialists, defeating the Catholics (mostly in the Rhine and Polish territories), wooing the Southern German Kingdoms of Baden, Wurtemburg, and Bavaria, and cultivating good relations with Imperial Russia. Unfortunately for him, many of those goals were somewhat at odds.

    In 1870, the North German Federation had residents. Roughly 24.7 million in Prussia and 6.7~ million more in the rest of the Federation. Of those 31.4 million North Germans, only 5.4 million were Catholics. Although Prussian statisticians desperately tried to underplay the Polish numbers, Catholic numbers in Prussian proper were a pretty good marker for Polish ethnicity. As a result, of those 5.4 million Catholics, 2.4 million were Poles.[1] Citing the relatively low percent of German Catholics, Bismarck repeatedly tabled discussions in the Imperial Diet that would in his speeches, would "spark a culture war," worried that any such culture wars would alienate the Southern German states.[2] After all, the influence war against (Catholic) Austria-Hungary in the South German Kingdoms was going to be doomed if Prussia was viewed as anti-Catholic. He didn't however, spin actual compromises, but rather simply pushed discussions to the future. However, he took a very different attitude to the Poles.

    Otto von Bismarck was a committed bigot against Poles, privately musing that the extermination of the Poles would eventually become a historic necessity. Ironically, it would be the Polish expulsions that would upend hurt Bismarck's career. In 1878, a doctor in Posen by the name of Karl Nobiling used a shotgun to spray Wilhelm I repeatedly with a shotgun while he was passing by Nobiling's apartment balcony.[3] Wilhelm I was gruesomely injured and Bismarck, claiming that Nobiling was partly Polish, immediately fanned the incident and decided to finally tackle the "Polish problem."

    Under Bismarck's orders, Prussian troops began expelling thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands Poles on the Russian border into Russia, often violently and brutally.[4] Outrage immediately flared in Russia itself where Pan-Slavism was becoming more popular, and Russia openly threatened retaliations against Prussia, including against German colonists in the Baltics. With King Wilhelm I deeply in fear that Prussia would find itself totally surrounded by enemies, Russia being the only conceivable ally of Prussia, Bismarck agreed that this would have to stop. After an epochal conservation with Wilhelm I, who was now convinced he was dying, the two decided that Bismarck would quietly step down from his position as Chancellor.

    Although Bismarck would remain Foreign Secretary of Prussia and Minister-President of Prussia, he was demoted to Vice-Chancellor, limiting his dominance of the entire cabinet. Under Bismarck's rule, it was illegal for cabinet members to communicate directly with the King of Prussia/President of the North German Confederation. That rule had to be abolished. Knowing that the Russians blamed "Prussianism" for the Polish expulsions, Bismarck also agreed under pressure it was best to minimize the open dominance of Prussian politicians over the government (rather, covert dominance was preferable). Bismarck left the Polish affair deeply unhappy, but not out of the game yet. This was at least the stated motivation.

    In reality, the biggest motivation was that Wilhelm I believed he was dying. Bismarck and Wilhelm desperately tried to get the Crown Prince Frederick excluded from government, concerned that the liberal Anglophile would ruin North Germany. If Frederick came into power, he could simply fire Bismarck and replace him with some "liberal toadie", who could thus establish total control over the North German government. To prevent that, Bismarck had to "lay low." Wilhelm I sought a Chancellor that would present a cleaner image than Bismarck without changing the actual power structure. Rudolf von Gneist, a mostly-conservative jurist, was actually one of Frederick III's favorite scholars as a result of his favorable works on British law. Bismarck had a remarkably friendly conversation with the Crown-Prince, wishing him the best, telling him that he was resigning, and that he would be replaced by Rudolf von Gneist. Frederick largely took the meeting very well, convinced himself that Bismarck was "turning over a new leaf." Otto von Bismarck also indicated that like Frederick, he opposed the proposed "Anti-Socialist" laws in the Diet, agreeing with Frederick that there was no proof the Socialists were involved in the assassination attempt. This convinced Frederick of Bismarck's sincerity, though many historians believe Bismarck was largely motivated by his belief that the Socialists would be a thorn in Frederick's side.

    Shortly after the appointment of von Gneist, Wilhelm I of Prussia died of his wounds, bequeathing to many of his closest advisers and friends a strictly classified will. Shortly after, Frederick I of Prussia was crowned King of Prussia, accepting also his post as President of the North German Federation, and apparently 50% over this strange project in Africa.
    ---
    [1] I'm using these as my estimates. http://www.tacitus.nu/historical-atlas/population/germany.htm
    [2] No Kulturkampf...for now.
    [3] OTL, Karl failed, and supposed Socialist links were used to justify anti-Socialist laws.
    [4] The Polish expulsions were OTL and played a role in deteriorating Russo-German relations.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  18. Blobfish Shoom

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    Been following this timeline and so far it's really enjoyable. I'm interested to see if a North German-Russian alliance can be formed. It's not an easy task but theoretically possible if French domination continues and Germany does not become too powerful.
     
  19. Threadmarks: Chapter 17 - The Socialist Empire and Second Avignon Papacy

    TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    The Socialist Empire and Second Avignon Papacy
    The Italian invasion of Rome came as a shock to Napoleon III. He had not expected the Italians to occupy Rome with such force. The shock of the invasion just as the First Vatican Council was opening forced Pius IX to immediately cut short the council, as priests around the world reacted angrily against Italy. Although Emperor Napoleon III had secured an Austro-Italian alliance that cut short Otto von Bismarck's plans against France, it had come a horrific domestic cost. Even his wife, the Empress Eugenie, turned against the Emperor. Much of the French Catholic right turned against Napoleon III. Abroad, Napoleon III was the broker of peace in the Americas, savior of Mexico, and the first Napoleon to actually hold onto any territorial gains in Europe. But at home, he was a domestic political outcast, as both the left and the right spurned him. In the summer of 1872, Napoleon III became too ill to govern, as he became beset by several gallstones that doctors could not remove easily. The Empress Eugenie and most of his cabinet insisted that he abdicate and he did, allowing his eldest son Napoleon IV to ascend the throne with the ambitious agenda of a youthful man.

    Although Napoleon IV was heavily inclined to marry Queen Victoria's youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, for both personal and diplomatic reasons, Queen Victoria was loath to let her youngest daughter leave London - and she hated the idea of her having to convert to Catholicism to marry the devoutly Catholic Napoleon IV. Instead, diplomatic concerns led Napoleon III to push his son into one of Europe's most surprising and consequential marriages. On a good-will trip to Bavaria (hoping to pull the nation away from the Prussian orbit), the then-prince Napoleon met Princess Therese of Bavaria, the only daughter of Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, the relatively pro-Prussian uncle of King Ludwig of II, who was considering Ludwig's withdrawal from public life in 1871, the most powerful man in Bavaria (the French hoped this would peel Luitpold off, since he apparently was very worried about his daughter's marriage prospects). Luckily for French diplomacy, the two royals actually hit it off over a shared fascination with foreign lands - Napoleon IV was fascinated in Africa[1] and Therese had already traveled extensively in North Africa and the Middle East, including French Algeria. Empress Eugenie more or less approved of anyone from a presumably conservative Catholic state. Napoleon III approved for diplomatic reasons, The marriage was a bit scandalous as the Prince was married in late 1872 (with Napoleon III on his deathbed) at only the age of 16 (to the 22-year old Therese), but this was largely accepted for diplomatic necessity.

    Under the influence of the three most powerful people in France (Emperor Napoleon IV was only 16 upon ascending the throne), the Empress Mother Eugenie, Empress Therese, and Prime Minister Émile Ollivier. Napoleon IV's 1873 Constitution of France amended his fathers earlier Constitution to bring "democracy" to the nation, although in strange ways, influenced by those three people in his life. First, France was converted to a semi-federal system, with over a dozen regions granted some degree of self-governance, including minority regions such as Corsica, Alsace, and Luxembourg. This brought great outrage among the left-Republicans, who quickly became some of Napoleon IV's greatest enemies. Second, the Senate was reformed into a semi-elected house, with its members chosen every 6-years (same cycle as the lower house) from the provincial governments, heavily favoring the countryside. Third, control of France's executive cabinets was vested not in the Emperor, but in the Prime Minister. Under the demand of Empress Eugenie, Napoleon IV inserted a clever provision where that the French Emperor would appoint the Prime Minister, who could be replaced by any individual whom a majority of the elected lower house voted for. The Constitution of 1873 was wildly hailed in Britain as France's adoption of a British-style constitutional monarchy. But there were large differences.

    The Prime Minister had a feeling what wildly unpopular plan would also be introduced with the support of both the women in Napoleon IV's life. The reactionary Eugenie and egalitarian Therese actually agreed on a plan, helping overrule Ollivier's objection. Therese, having traveled extensively in French Algeria, was not a particular fan of the colonial authorities. Eugenie was concerned with building her son's power and not a fan of the whole democracy thing at all. However, the two agreed on a fateful decision - the decision to abolish the Code de l'indigénat in Algeria. Gaining the support of Minister of Justice Adolphe Crémieux (who only really supported the Jewish provisions), both Jewish and Muslims in Algeria were granted French citizenship and most notably, the right-to-vote, even as Muslism remained under Islamic law. The pied-noir representatives responded with outrage and also joined with the left-Republicans to campaign against the new Constitution. The rationale of Eugenie and the conservatives was not any concern for the Arabs, who they viewed as little more than animals, but rather a belief that Muslim participation in parliamentary democracy would discredit it and prevent the formation of any absolute majority coalition in parliament, which would allow the Emperor to rule-by-decree forever.

    Indeed, they were proven right. In a national referendum, the Constitution only won 54-46, as respective landslides in Algeria (against) and the minority regions (for) canceled each other out, as the countryside only narrowly outvoted Paris, likely only because of lots of ultramontane language inserted by Eugenie. As expected, first post-1873 parliament produced a total mess of a parliament, including extremely uncooperative Arab Muslim representatives. As a result, there was no choice for Napoleon IV to reappoint Ollivier, who found himself governing by decree with both Eugenie and Therese looking over his shoulder.

    A devout Catholic, he shared the horror that his mother and most of the French right shared at the "captivity" of Pope Pius IX. In 1871, some Italian liberals tried to reconcile with the pope, but anti-clerical liberals voted down the "Act of Guarantees" narrowly in the Italian Parliament.[2] He was aware that the Pope intended to leave Rome - but he just didn't have any good places to go. The Austrians didn't want to further alienate the Italians, with their foreign being laser-focused in opposing Prussia. Otto von Bismarck actually considered hosting the Pope in Cologne as a power play, but Wilhelm I vetoed it. Spain was...not stable enough. And Napoleon III was not going to flip-flop. Luckily for the Pope, Napoleon IV had very different opinions. Siding with his ultramontane mother Eugenie, he was outraged at Italy's treatment of the Pope. Napoleon IV invited Pope Pius IX to France, where in a lavish ceremony, he welcomed the Pope to Avignon, where he announced the end of the "Captivity of Rome." Pius IX issued an encyclical condemning the new Italian state as idolatrous and satanic, calling on all Italian Catholics to both refuse to vote and cooperate with the Italian State besides the bare minimum required to comply with law (and not face personal consequences). Napoleon IV, taking the stage, gave a speech about a new political order in France: France had advanced past the stage of the "Liberal Empire". Inspired by various works by the widely read Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler, Bishop of Mainz, and various other clergy, Napoleon IV gave a speech about the new "Catholic, Socialist Empire", citing Catholic principles embodied in his Constitution, from subsidiarity (the semi-federal system), democracy (the semi-elected Senate), anti-secularism (State Catholicism and even Islamic law in Algeria), and a "new course", where the French Empire and the Catholic Church would guarantee "class harmony", not "class war" with a new, anti-Marxist Socialist creed. Most of the Black Nobility followed Pius IX to Avignon.

    The Italian government responded in outrage, cutting off diplomatic ties with the French Empire. Hostile anti-clerical crowds pillaged the Vatican City, smashing/burning art and buildings including the Statue of David and the Sistine Chapel. The government fell, replaced by a anti-clerical left government led by Francesco Crispi, who easily sidelined his rival on the left, Agostino Depretis. Immediately, Italy pulled out of the Triple Alliance between Austria, Italy, and France, opening up overtures to Russia and Prussia instead. At home, Crispi instituted an authoritarian laicite policy, closing down Catholic schools and seizing the wealth of the church. Peasant resistance quickly skyrocketed, as tax revenues plunged and government buildings suffered arson attacks almost daily. Relations further plunged as French Catholic newspapers constantly published lurid and largely false tales of anti-Catholic violence in Italy, leading armies to be mobilized on both sides of the Alps.
    ---
    [1] OTL, he was so interested in Africa, he was killed by Zulus.
    [2] OTL, this narrowly passed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  20. Md139115 Bring back the Inquisition! Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2017
    Location:
    Secret Catholic World Domination Conference
    I read this just before sitting down for dinner.

    I’m not hungry anymore.
     
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