Dominion of Southern America - Updated November 29, 2017

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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    :)
    No, but things happen. I imagine it's actually "BoS", like Department of Justice is "DoJ" and not "DJ".
     
  2. Wendell Wendell

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    That is quite true. Conversely, the country is USA and not USoA, and the FDA is not the FaDA. I may be wrong, but I don't think alphabet soup was popular in the nineteenth century.
     
  3. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Fair enough.:)
     
  4. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    The butterflies at last reach China!

    Any chance that we get to see China balkanized?
     
  5. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Indeed - they are moving at the speed of light - on Discworld.;)

    Oh, there's always a chance....
     
  6. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Japan had struggled valiantly throughout the 19th century to ward off European intrusion into Japan. Their perceived greatest threat was that of the Russians occupying neighboring Sakhalin island. The first half of the 19th century saw several overtures by the Tsar for an opening of trade rebuffed.

    It is unclear what were the combination of factors that made 1855 so different from all the other attempts. Perhaps it was Russia's recent lack of success in the Liberal War in Europe that made the Russians to more aggressively seek success in the far east, yet at the same time made some Japanese brazen enough to resist the Russians with force of arms. In any event, the small Russian fleet that entered Edo bay that fateful year did not take a simple no for an answer. Under threat of the ships' guns, the Shogunate's government was torn as to how to respond - enough so that it led to open conflict between the factions, with the daimyo winning the immediate control in Edo and bringing everything they had against the Russian 'Black Fleet' who had earlier fired shells towards Edo as a show of force, but now laid waste to huge swaths of waterfront and beyond with their guns. The Japanese were able to gain a temporary equality with the use of fireboats that they sent careening into the ships in the bay. The Russians retreated that day, but would be back later that year with more ships and more troops, using Sakhalin as a staging point to invade the Japanese islands. Unfortunately for Japan, the violence in Edo had ignited a full scale civil war in Japan itself.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  7. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    So much for the Meji era... and the butterflies keep on flapping.
     
  8. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Yes and yes.
     
  9. stevep Member

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    Glen

    This could be messy, very messy. If the Russians are actually planning on a lasting occupation. See two main routes:

    a) A long and bloody campaign of conquest, followed by prolonged fanatical resistance. Given the Russians are operating at the end of a very long and fragile supply line this could ultimately prove too expensive. In which case after they withdraw what sort of state would Japan be in. Weakened a lot but also a lot of the old system broken down so possibly an even stronger reform element so that 'this can't happen again'.

    b) Worried at the growth of Russian influence someone else steps in and allies with a moderate Japanese faction. Britain is the obvious option but depends on what's happening elsewhere. [I was just going to say the recent failure to occupy Vietnam would count against it then realised that was another TL:eek:].

    The other question would be what happens with the imperial family. Suspect that it could become a counter being used by any factor that can control it, including the Russians. Which would further undermine its status and relevance.

    Steve
     
  10. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Entirely possible - the Russians will take what they can get, but don't want to pay too high a price for it.

    A very interesting possibility.

    b
    You mean moderate in the sense of cooperating with gaijin? Possibly, possibly, and indeed I suspect other European powers would be interested.

    Indeed, indeed.

    Happens. Sometimes even to the author<wink>.

    Now that is a VERY good question...
     
  11. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    In 1855, things went from bad to worse for the Qing Dynasty. Fed up with the persistant presense of the Southern Chinese Revolutionaries and the inattention of the Manchu government to things such as relief from natural disasters in the north, traditionalist Han in the north rose up in an anti-Manchu, anti-Qing revolt of their own. They met with surprising successes, jumping from city to city. The only saving grace for the Qing was that the new threat against them hated the democratic, deist ways of the revolutionaries in Southern China as much as they hated the Qing and the Manchu yoke. The Qing set Mongolian forces to the task of reigning in these rebels.

    However, the Qing were not so fortunate to keep the forces of General Yang based in Dali away from alliance with the forces of General Shi (who had become supreme commander of the Southern Chinese Revolutionary Army). With the guarantee of General Shi and the Chinese Revolutionary Congress of religious freedom, equality, and the end of Manchu domination, General Yang brought the southern Hui and other allied forces under his command into the Southern Chinese Revolution.

    In the meantime, the Qing decided that they needed a 'modern' army to deal with the Southerners. They formed a new army under the training and command of European mercenaries which would come to be called The Devil's Army. The commanding general of The Devil's Army was an expatriot soldier of the Dominion of Southern America, Richard Stetson. The original American Stetson had settled in South Carolina after his service in the British Army in the American Revolutionary War. Despite this, Richard was somewhat of a rebellious sort for the family, and fell in with Confederationists during the Southern Civil War, joining the Confederationist Army at a young age. He served with distinction and was cashiered at the end of the dispute. He served for a time after the war as a guard on wagon trains heading west into frontier Arkansas. After the general amnesty seen with the formation of the Dominion, Stetson was joined the British Army for a time, rising up through the ranks, and jumping to officer, an unsual feat. He led troops for Britain in the Liberal War on the front with Prussia. With the end of the Liberal War he left the British Army after being passed up for further promotions that he felt were due him. He embarked on a 'world tour', and ended up in China where he was recruited by the Qing to train, and then lead, their new, modernly equipped, army. By 1856, the Devil's Army was sent south to battle the revolutionaries there, seen by the Qing as the more long term threat, and it is assumed, not fully trusting to have their foreign led army too close to the capital. This proved to be a prescient move by the Qing. While the Devil's Army had more successes in pushing back the Southern Chinese revolutionaries than any other force since 1852, Stetson could never quite defeat General Shi when their forces met, and Stetson found a growing respect for the chivalrous and canny Shi. Perhaps in hindsight it seems obvious that a Southern Rebel would find common ground with another Southern Rebel, but in early 1857 General Stetson and his entire Devil's Army defected to the side of the Southern Chinese revolutionaries.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Sovereign12 Well-Known Member

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    That is a great twist to the TL!!!
     
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  13. Arachnid Arachnid once more.

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    Big trouble in China though I'm surprised his entire army joined him in defecting. Surely they would have bee chosen for their loyalty to the Manchu regime?
     
  14. Sovereign12 Well-Known Member

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    Probably a factor of becoming more loyal to Stetson because of the way he treated his men and how well he was doing during battles.
     
  15. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Thank you - I rather liked it myself!:D
     
  16. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    What Sovereign said, plus remember this is a brand new army TRAINED AND LED by foreigners, who in this case were chosen, trained and led by STETSON. So the officers were all loyal to Stetson more than the Qing. So long as Stetson can get the Southerners to keep them paid, they will stick. As for the rank and file in the army, sure there were some who deserted or were killed when their army defected, but they had come under the sway of a charismatic devil, and once they were in contact with Southern ideas, they were tending to get liberalized.
     
  17. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    There are some interesting comments about the raising of the OTL Ever Victorious Army on this blog here - http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/19299.html

    Note that the original Ever Victorious Army, according to the cited source, was basically a mercenary army of scoundrels - no loyalty to the Qing there.

    ITTL, The Devil's Army actually had a bit higher caliber of recruit, but by and large these are men looking to be successful as professional soldiers, not Qing loyalists.
     
  18. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    BTW PS - And I love this as a cautionary point to not trust mercenary armies, which the OTL Ever Victorious Army really turned out to be - it is amazing that they didn't bite the Qing in the ass, and it was probably only due to the fact that they were able to whip the Tiapings more easily that kept just that from happening.
     
  19. Falastur Fighting Swiss-wank since 1291

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    Just a little N.B., Glen. Up to the mid-1850s, promotion in the British army officer ranks up to the rank of Colonel was almost exclusively by purchase only. It had to be agreed to, and had to come from the rank directly beneath (i.e. so you couldn't just buy your way into senior management in the space of a few months, though you could do it over the course of a decade) and there was scope to be breveted (i.e. given an "Acting" rank promotion, which gave no increase in pay and was temporary only) and it was possible to be promoted on merit, but being promoted on merit alone, even for a truely gifted officer, was the path to reaching the rank of Captain by your mid-30s at best, and reaching Major only if you were lucky, such was the volume of the officers willing and able to buy themselves to the promotions you were seeking despite being clearly unsuitable. IIRC, Richard Sharpe of the Cornwell novels only gets to the rank of Colonel because he himself acquires the all-important contacts in Horse Guards. It's a minor change, and now that I've written half an essay it now feels incredibly petty :)o) but far more realistic to suggest that Stetson simply did not have the cash to buy himself the promotions.

    Thankfully, this system of rank purchase did not extent to senior ranks, which is probably why the British army during the Napoleonic Wars and others was thankfully well-stocked with genuinely talented Generals, though every army has its share of total hopeless cases.


    Incidentally, still loving the story, and I noticed the little cameo there. Honestly very happy to wait and indeed to see others get there first, but I'm still genuinely looking forward to finding out if any of my "relatives" have a part in this story :D
     
  20. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Your points are valid for OTL, but what the Crimean War did for OTL's British Army, the Slaver Uprising did for TTL's British Army. The practice of purchasing rank was phasing out when Stetson joined the British Army. Now then, patronage was a more difficult problem to weed out, and I am sure the very competent but, shall we say, colonial, Stetson would have rubbed some of the deadwood in the higher ranks the wrong way.

    Patience is a virtue....:)