Had Argentina Been Anglophone, Would It Have Been More Prosperous & Populous Today? (ctd.)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by dovibear, Nov 22, 2018.

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  1. dovibear Well-Known Member

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    For that matter, in a hypothetical scenario where Uruguay is an Argentine province, there would probably be more incentive and interest to develop a fixed link between the Buenos Aires area and the Colonia area of Uruguay, to supersede the ferry links between Buenos Aires and Colonia or Montevideo.
     
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  2. Masked Grizzly Well-Known Member

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    What would be the alternative names for Buenos Aires and Montevideo respectively?
     
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  3. juanml82 Well-Known Member

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    What's the earliest a 50 km railway bridge can be built? Also, I've often hear it's the Uruguayans who don't want it, because they fear it will disrupt the tranquility of Colonia, which is a small town
     
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  4. juanml82 Well-Known Member

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    Someone once proposed "Fairwinds" for Buenos Aires, but would the British change them?
     
  5. Masked Grizzly Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how Argentina/Uruguay come under British dominion.

    Fairwinds is one idea for Buenos Aires. Not sure about Mount Ovid for Montevideo though.
     
  6. rfmcdonald Well-Known Member

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    I would be skeptical of the idea of a placename change. The most that happened in Canada, at least, is that major centres acquired names in English that were literal translations that differed only a little. "Three Rivers" for Trois-Rivières did not long survive the Quiet Revolution, while "Montreal" is recognizable to people familiar with "Montréal." You might get a wholesale translation of names if there was a wholesale replacement of populations, something like what happened in the Maritimes after the ethnic cleansing of the Acadians in the Seven Years War, but even there placenames often survived surprisingly intact. Grand Pré is still around ...
     
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  7. dovibear Well-Known Member

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    I envision a railway/road bridge like that to be built relatively recently (the past 25-50 years at most), because of the engineering complexities in building a long link like that, and the technology to build these things is kind of recent.

    It's still Buenos Aires and Montevideo, for sure! Just like you have Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Antonio, etc. in former Mexican territory from California to Texas.
     
  8. rfmcdonald Well-Known Member

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    I would also be curious about placenames in South Africa, in areas long settled by the Dutch and Afrikaners in the Cape.
     
  9. dovibear Well-Known Member

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    There are plenty of placenames in South Africa that are Dutch in origin. In the Cape area, for example, you have Paarl and Stellenbosch, along with Uitenhage somewhat further east. Elsewhere in South Africa, such placenames include Bloemfontein, Vereeniging, and Nelspruit, as well as Johannesburg.
     
  10. Threadmarks: some reflections/updates of mine re ATL British Argentina

    dovibear Well-Known Member

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    In the more than one and a half months since this thread has been on pause until now, I’ve been reflecting on everything that has been said in this thread up until now. Below are many of my reflections.

    Just to recap, in terms of the POD: A British success in capturing Buenos Aires in early July 1807 leads, on a temporary basis, to a British colony over the entire River Plate - including Montevideo, which the British capture earlier in 1807 as IOTL.

    However, before long, many of the local inhabitants rebel against the British, agitating for independence from both the Spaniards and now the British. Between that and the need for the British to concentrate resources in order to fight more directly against Napoleon, the British grant Buenos Aires independence under British suzerainty for a number of years, and then it becomes fully independent (cf. Transvaal in the aftermath of the First Boer War in the early 1880s) for some decades. I’ll describe later on what probably happens afterwards.

    On the other hand, the British don’t let go of Montevideo and the Banda Oriental (present-day Uruguay) so easily, because of a smaller population (easier to control) and especially because of more suitable harbour facilities in Montevideo for a major naval base (which had been the Spanish naval base before 1807), among other reasons. Uruguay thus becomes a British crown colony at the same time Buenos Aires becomes independent. The local Spanish-speaking people are allowed to preserve their legal system, religion, language, and other aspects of their culture, so as not to alienate them.

    Around late 1807-early 1808, the Spaniards invade the now-British River Plate area from Paraguay and Cordoba. As a result, many British troops are compelled to move on to parts of Entre Rios and Santa Fe to try to stop them. For that reason, as well as to consolidate territorial gains, the British proceed to take over parts of the underpopulated Entre Rios, to the west of Uruguay and north of Buenos Aires, in addition to Uruguay. One of the purposes of the British suzerainty over Buenos Aires, in which the military as well as foreign policy of Buenos Aires is British rather than local, is to prevent Buenos Aires from developing too powerful of an army of its own for the time being.

    Another way for the British to prevent Buenos Aires from being too powerful is to take over the rest of Entre Rios (and possibly also parts of OTL Corrientes province) plus the rest of Santa Fe around 1815, when the Napoleonic Wars stop and the British thus have more manpower and financial resources to mount military operations in South America. Those areas are geographically between Buenos Aires on the one hand and the Northwest (Cordoba/Cuyo/Tucuman/Salta) and Paraguay – which the British are not nearly as interested in - on the other hand. Because of that, it is important for the British to capture Entre Rios and Santa Fe to thwart intentions by Buenos Aires to bring the Northwest and Paraguay to its fold the way that Belgrano and others at least attempted to do IOTL. From that conquest onwards, a number of British settlers (joined later in the 1800s by settlers from elsewhere in northern Europe plus northern Italy) move to those areas, along with their land tenure and legal systems.

    Speaking of the Northwest and Paraguay (not to mention Upper Peru, Chile, etc.), with regard to the Spanish-American independence movements: It seems to me that once the news of Napoleon’s capture of Spain reaches South America later in 1808, and Spain and Britain become allies, the British initially support the Spanish Royalists and try to suppress the independence movements in those areas around the River Plate region.

    However, once it becomes clear that the independence movements are gaining steam at the expense of the Royalists, the British switch sides and support the independence movements (which would further British goals of free trade and securing independence in South America). (Even so, perhaps it might be too risky for Jose de San Martin to first use Mendoza as a base and then cross with his army into Chile as it was done IOTL.) The British do this because since the independence movements are hell-bent on getting rid of the Spanish, the British figure that if they remain on the Spanish side, they too might be targeted for eradication from the continent. (In northern South America and in Central America and Mexico, as in all of OTL Spanish America, the British are neutral in the wars of independence as there are no British boots on the ground.)

    Thereafter, Paraguay becomes one country (as IOTL) and the Northwest becomes another (the latter possibly breaking up at least temporarily into a number of different republics). Unlike IOTL, ATL Paraguay doesn’t have the destructive Paraguayan War of the 1860s, and thus Paraguay keeps more territory that is IOTL nearby in Brazil, plus Misiones, Formosa, and maybe northern Corrientes province. Of course, Upper Peru (Bolivia) also becomes a country of its own as IOTL.

    In contrast to the situation in Paraguay and the Northwest, the British keep on suppressing rural-based, independence-oriented insurgencies in the Banda Oriental like from Jose Gervasio Artigas and Juan Antonio Lavalleja - with the help of local troops recruited by the British (a common method throughout the British Empire at that time of recruiting troops) – as those are a threat to British territorial interests there. (This is reminiscent of the Afrikaner rebellion at Slachter’s Nek in 1815, the 1837 rebellions in present-day Quebec/Ontario, and the Louis Riel rebellions in Western Canada in 1869-70 and 1885.) Many of those Spanish-speaking locals who are radically opposed to British rule ultimately flee, in the manner of the Boers in South Africa, to places like Paraguay, eastern Corrientes, Misiones, and possibly the Chaco. Or at least Artigas and/or Lavalleja flee to somewhere like Paraguay as they’re carrying out their rebellions, in much the same way that leaders of the Canadian rebellions flee next door to the United States. At the same time and especially afterwards, a number of British settlers move to Uruguay, bringing with them their legal and land tenure systems.

    As the River Plate area is being taken over by the British from 1807, they automatically as well take over the few and scattered Spanish settlements and forts in and around Patagonia - Carmen de Patagones, Port Desire (aka Puerto Deseado), and the Falklands - that had previously been remote outposts of the Buenos Aires Intendency within the Viceroyalty of La Plata. (Port Desire and the Falklands are both stepping stones to the Strait of Magellan, thus being strategic for the British.) Also, starting in the 1810s-1820s but especially in the 1830s, the British take over the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel, and similar southern passages - thereby claiming Tierra del Fuego (hereafter, Fireland) as well as the mainland close to the Strait of Magellan (including the establishment of Sandy Point – OTL Punta Arenas – at that time). (Even IOTL, the HMS Beagle sailed through the area at that time, surveying and naming local geographic features and conducting scientific exploration of the area.)

    Along the Patagonian coast and in Fireland and the Falklands from that time through the mid-1800s, there are trading posts (to trade with friendly local Indians), hunting/whaling/sealing posts, and military posts - plus penal colonies mainly in Fireland, the Falklands, and the nearby mainland. All this activity is the basis for the British Empire to annex most or all of Patagonia in the mid-late 1800s, just as many other corners of the world became British pretty much in that manner. British settlers move to those areas in number only after all of that. Note that in this case, British-ruled Patagonia includes the OTL Chilean portion south of Puerto Natales/Ultima Esperanza (thus including Sandy Point and all of Fireland) as much as the OTL Argentine portion.

    There’s also southern OTL Buenos Aires Province to potentially deal with, particularly along and near the coast. Most probably, the British make claim to that coastal strip starting roughly in 1820; they make a naval exploration of that coast, set up some trading posts, fight the local Indians where necessary (IOTL the Indians were subdued there much sooner than further west), and open up the land to British settlement. Enterprises for British settlement include the sort that Edward Gibbon Wakefield had in colonizing South Australia, New Zealand, etc. The goals are a. to fend off a complete takeover by Buenos Aires of the vast area of Buenos Aires Province beyond the Salado River, which had hitherto been the limit of civilization, so to speak, in the Buenos Aires hinterland, and b. to make a British colonial space between Uruguay and Patagonia. In the western part of that region, the British establish a fort and settlement at Bahia Blanca (hereafter, White Bay). At that time, just like IOTL, White Bay is just about the western limit of white settlement, as anything west of it is inhabited by aggressive Indians until the final conquest of the Indians in the 1860s-1870s. The name of the resulting colony could be Victoria.

    Back to the independent republic of Buenos Aires. A few decades after independence, Juan Manuel de Rosas threatens the British hold over the entire area in the 1830s but especially the 1840s. At that point, there are radically different circumstances than earlier in the 19th century and there are deep-down and longstanding British desires to more directly control Buenos Aires once again (barring the concept of responsible government, which becomes a trend ca. 1850 in the future white dominions like Canada and Australia). Thus, the British at least attempt to annex Buenos Aires. It could go either one of two ways – Buenos Aires does get annexed at that time, or Rosas manages to weather the British and hold on to power for maybe a decade or two longer. (If the latter option holds sway, there is an OTL equivalent, in the sense that IOTL during the 1845-50 Anglo-French naval blockade of Buenos Aires, the British and the French had a pyrrhic military victory but Rosas had a decisive political victory. That allowed Rosas to rule for 1-2 more years until Justo Jose de Urquiza ousted him.) Whenever Buenos Aires does become annexed, British settlers move to those areas where land is available and not already taken up by the large ranches that Rosas and his supporters perpetuate.

    If the British are eventually successful in Buenos Aires just like elsewhere in the River Plate, there may be moves by the British in the 1860s or 1870s to annex Cordoba province, though probably not elsewhere in the interior Northwest. I see Cordoba eventually attracting some British settlers here and there even before any official British attempt to annex the place, mainly because we’re talking about land-hungry people who are looking for available pieces of land, and the part of Cordoba province between Cordoba city and the border with Santa Fe province is rich in agricultural resources just like the Pampas. Not to mention that Cordoba is the part of the Northwest nearest to the River Plate and Littoral. It could go either way – that Cordoba is annexed by the British or that it remains part of an independent interior/Northwest republic to this day.

    In the mid- to late-1870s, I see the various British colonies in the territory of OTL Argentina/Uruguay become federated. There is the desire to protect themselves from any Chilean or Brazilian or other neighbours’ designs on parts of the colonies’ territories, sort of like how Canada became federated when it did because of mutual protection against a possible US annexation. There is also the impetus of greater economic growth when the colonies become one dominion rather than just a collection of colonies; look at the experiences of Canada, Australia, etc. I’m specifying the 1870s, because that is when the 4th Earl of Carnarvon (British Colonial Secretary at the time) unsuccessfully attempted to unite the political units (British, Boer, and native alike) in southern Africa. (ATL Argentina is a less complicated case, as – aside from the remaining independent Spanish-speaking republics – we’re talking all about British-controlled political units.) That same gentleman helped enable the federation of the British North American colonies into Canada in 1866-67 when he had been the Colonial Secretary then too.

    Even as Argentina is formed as a federal white dominion in the mid/late 1870s along the lines of Canada or Australia, the most important naval/military bases (e.g. Montevideo and the Falklands) are manned by British military personnel for some decades more until they withdraw and Argentine personnel take over. Also, due to the Strait of Magellan’s strategic importance prior to the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, some or all of the territories at or near the strait remain British until the late 1910s or 1920s – cf. the Canadian High Arctic islands remaining British until 1880 or Newfoundland remaining British until 1949.

    At first, until the 1860s-1870s, not all that many British settlers make their way to the River Plate and so forth, because the territories there are mainly Spanish-speaking and – more importantly – because there’s frequently turmoil in the area. Once the tensions are largely resolved by the 1860s-1870s and the Indians are subdued in places like the southwestern Pampas and Patagonia, the agricultural potential of the Pampas/Littoral/Uruguay is realized. The accompanying economic boom greatly swells the number of British and other northern European settlers (not to mention Italian and Spanish and other European/Middle Eastern immigrants). Even though these trends are – by and large – parallel to trends in OTL Argentina/Uruguay, ATL Argentina is much better managed on the whole, with less income inequality and a larger rural middle class.

    These advantages are leveraged into a much more favourable course of events (than IOTL) from 1930 down to the present (e.g. no coups, Peronism, Dirty War, or hyperinflation), and thus to fully developed-country status for ATL Argentina. The official languages are English and Spanish, and the legal system on the federal level and in many of the provinces incorporates elements of British common law and Spanish civil law, much as Quebec (and Louisiana) has both British and French laws and South Africa has both British and Roman-Dutch laws.

    All of the above is to say that what starts out as British intentions to trade with Spanish colonies in the River Plate more freely and to secure independence in much of the Americas morphs eventually into an entire British federal dominion called Argentina as well as the British informal empire in the rest of Latin America. This is sort of how the intention to have the Cape as a way station to/from India, Australasia, and the Far East morphs into South Africa eventually, or how the intention to make a network of penal colonies in Australia eventually turns into the federal dominion of Australia.

    Sorry that I’m rambling a bit, but this is a good overview of what I’ve been reflecting about for the past little while. Accompanying all of this rich description is a regional map approximately as it what amounts to at present ITTL; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words (or more, as the case may be) . The two shades of green (Paraguay) and of purple (Chile) are supposed to be one shade each. I hope that much, if not all, of what I've described above is plausible.

    ATL British South America map.png
     
  11. basileus Inflammable

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    Bonaires could make it. Montevideo would probably stay unchanged.
     
  12. dovibear Well-Known Member

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    Both would remain unchanged.
     
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