Dominion of Southern America - Updated July 1, 2018

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Glen, Feb 22, 2010.

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  1. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Thank you! The Siamese definitely have...possibilities....

    And yes, with Japan having some of their own issues to deal with, and China now pluralized, that does leave some room on the stage.

    Ah, Korea...need to get that out there, too...

    True that - while cool, we will have to see how things run...time will tell.
     
  2. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Noted, noted....what really happens, of course, remains to be seen.
     
  3. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    [​IMG]
    The Joseon Dynasty had practiced a strict isolationist policy throughout most of it's rule, having contact almost exclusively through China. Despite this, after the Opium War, various missionaries had managed to sneak through to Korea. The troubles in China in the mid-19th century shook the Koreans to their core, as it had so many other nations in the Far East. Countries like Greater Annam, the Japanese Shogunate, Imperial Japan, and Qing Manchuria were coming under the direct or indirect rule of Western Powers. Those few who still remained independent of the Westerners had to choose which China to associate with, or to risk going into an unsteady future alone. While there was some feeling in the Korean Court for remaing aligned with the Qing Emperor, Russia's influence over Manchuria would in practice place Russia as their new 'protector'. The Siamese had already chosen alliance with the new and wildly radical United States of China, but the USC was farther from Korea, and the court found the USC adoption of Western ideas abhorent. On the other hand, the new Chuen Dynasty in Northern China was traditional Neo-Confucianist, and relatively free of overbearing foreign influence. Thus did Korea align with the Chuen Dynasty. But with the Russians on their borders, the question remained open whether this would be enough.
     
  4. stevep Member

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    Glen

    That sets up a potentially interesting dynamic. If the Russians try and push into Korea they face opposition from both Chuen and probably Britain, although how closely the two would work together? Also in that case what would the USC do? It will probably be no friend to Chuen but then it probably would oppose Russian expansion into China proper.

    I suspect in this case Russia would do nothing for the moment. Its working at the end of a bloody long and fragile supply line and possibly already over-extended but might make a move at a later stage if an opportunity came up.

    What could also be both interesting and important would be how the two halves of Japan inter-react with their new masters/allies? I suspect Britain will have a more indirect rule, as in much of India and elsewhere, only stepping in, but doing so firmly, if things get out of hand. This might work well in Japan's case. How Russia will rule its protectorate would possibly depend on the commander in the Far East? Not aware enough of how Russia treated say Central Asia, which is possibly the closest comparison, but their attempts at Russification in the European regions they ruled would be highly unsuitable for Japan.

    Steve



     
  5. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Britain is growing more concerned about Russia in the Far East, so they might stir themselves if given enough provocation. The Chuen Dynasty, of course, is committed. I imagine the USC would not favor Russian expansion, but whether they would be willing or able to extend aid there is an open question, mostly depending on the timing, I suspect.

    All true, if they remain sensible - but who knows if that will happen?

    Quite.

    Quite as well.
     
  6. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    [​IMG]
    The great era of canal building in the Second Republic of Mexico (also referred to as the United States of Mexico) started with a joint project with the British. The first project was to improve the San Juan River, running between the Mexican states of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, to its origin in Lake Nicaragua. From there, a canal was build across the Rivas Canal to the Pacific, opening to traffic in 1861. While this first canal helped the British to link their Pacific interests with the Dominion of Southern America, it was only the beginning for Mexico. Mexican officials wanted a canal closer to the heart of the nation, and found investors in the United States for the great project of the Tehuantepec Canal, a canal with locks stretching over a 125 miles. This grand project was finished in 1878, and was able to handle twice the tonage of the Rivas Canal. The age was capped off with a more modest canal sponsored by a consortium of investors from Mexico, New Granada, and the United Provinces of South America that crossed the Isthmus of Panama.
     
  7. Plumber Manifest Destiny inspired Lebensraum

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    Excellent. :D Unlike OTL this doesn't seem to be a Mexiscrew.

    Hows the UPSA doing?
     
  8. stevep Member

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    Glen

    Given the huge costs of canals, especially in rough terrain and the disease problem, which killed the French attempt in Panama and needed a lot of effort to keep under control by the Americas are three canals likely? Apart from anything else once the 1st is in place, unless very badly run or major political incentives are involved I doubt a 2nd is viable and almost certainly not a 3rd.

    Not that familiar with the Tehuantepec region but from what Wiki says, while there is a break in the mountains here there is still a plateau about 735 feet high at its highest point. Also in the north the isthmus is a dense swampy jungle, which makes railways very difficult. This probably means, as well as a serious disease problem a hell of a lot of drainage would be required.

    As such, unless national prestige is the major driver, I think its unlikely that a 2nd canal would gain serious financial support as it wouldn't be able to compete with an existing one. It might be that if relations with Britain/DSA deteriorated very badly then either Mexico or the US might want a canal under their control but it would face a considerable problem getting through any Congress.

    Steve
     
  9. jycee Well-Known Member

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    Glen:

    As cool as it would be to have such a developed Mexico, I would have to agree with Steve here. The Tehuantepec Canal is a practical impossibility. It be easier just to have a vast network of railroads connecting Coatzacoalcos to Salina Cruz, thus any extra tonnage that can't go through Nicaragua would go through there.

    But still if you are going for this TL to evolve into some kind of tencho-punk. Why the hell no.

    Also take in consideration all the wildlife you are destroying. You need to destroy a reef on the Gulf as well to let big boats through.
     
  10. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Canal building is a bit more advanced ITTL. Disease problems still exist, but there is much more reliance on local populace for labor, which tends to mitigate the disease factor a bit, as does the fact that this Mexico is a bit more developed than OTL, and thus there's been a bit more agro-development in these areas, with concommitant drainage of swamps and other breeding grounds for disease. Still a big problem, but all added together, not as much as it was even at the time of OTL Panama Canal.

    First took the path of least resistance, and was relatively uncomplicate ITTL. The one across Tehuantepec had a large amount of political motivation and national pride, was much harder to build, and is the pride and joy of Mexico - this is their Erie Canal - it's only about a third as long, but about a fourth higher.

    National prestige is a driver - as is the fact that the Nicaragua one is a bit small in comparison.

    The governmental component is Mexican - the rest is business.

    Not so much techno-punk, but there will be alternate great projects here. Given the lengths and heights involved, I find this only somewhat of a stretch compared to OTL. And remember, there will be a lot more traffic moving between the Caribbean to all points in the world ITTL due to the Dominion presence, and more stable nations in South America.

    Yeah, unfortunately environmentalism hasn't really kicked off, yet.
     
  11. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Not so much, no.

    Okay so far.
     
  12. stevep Member

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    Glen

    Even if the Mexican government committed itself to such a massive and expensive project and maintained the investment long enough to get it built would a canal through Tehuantepecbe competitive? Its going to be a hell of a lot longer and having a large number of locks to lift and lower the ships.

    As such, even if built it would probably be a lot more expensive than the one further south.

    Also since that is described as 'running between the Mexican states of Nicaragua and Costa Rica ' then it is presumably inside Mexico. Unless it loses those provinces then there is no reason why national feeling should drive another, far more expensive, Mexican canal.

    Using local labour might help with disease resistance but its still going to be a big problem, especially until the necessary knowledge on the causes of the infections and how best to block them. I think with the Panama canal OTL a lot of the labour came from the British Caribbean islands so they would have a fair degree of resistance but it needed better knowledge of how to prevent yellow fever and malaria than existed earlier to make the project practical. Given the political geography it is possible that Britain [with its empire] and the DSA [with a fair amount of southern, sub-tropic territory] might have more knowledge of such problems, but a more northern US is less likely to.

    Steve
     
  13. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    But also the favored route for American shipping from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

    It is a fair point, but that is in far Southern Mexico, whereas the other one is much more central to the nation.

    All fair points, and I assume there were plenty of deaths, but I find it insufficient to bar construction.
     
  14. stevep Member

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    Why? The shorter route is likely to be a lot cheaper and quicker.

    Which is also a good way to tie the southern provinces into the rest of the country and make them seen as such.

    It won't totally bar construction if medical knowledge is sufficiently advanced over OTL but it will make it more expensive, which will be a big disadvantage for the route already handicapped by worse economics.

    Don't forget one other factor. If there is a strong political factor in construction for some reason the majority of world shipping at this point is under the British flag so the route preferred by them will also have an economy of scale.

    Steve
     
  15. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    While Sweden and Denmark tended to retain their original flags prior to being united for local use, for more international uses a new flag was adopted, combining the two realms' flags into one.

    Flag of Denmark-.png
     
  16. IchBinDieKaiser Casual Historian

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    I like it... and I might steal it.
     
  17. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Thank you! And feel free!
     
  18. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    Korea begins it's long slide into becoming a puppet state, Mexico develops a very interesting Tri-canal system, and Scandinavia continues down the road to full formal unification. All in all, this string of updates is very pleasing :D
     
  19. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    I am glad that you are gratified.
     
  20. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Well, I am trying to decide whether to retcon out so many canals - I would love to keep them, and I think it is possible, with some more fleshing out, to justify (though the consequences would be different), I'm not certain if the plausibility is high enough to make it worth keeping. I will continue looking at it....