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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    That's assuming that an independent Buenos Aires (ca. 1810-1840s) that at least officially is - in a number of ways and much of the time - on the side of the British still attempts to assert control over all the rest of the OTL United Provinces of La Plata. But Cordoba may very well hate both Buenos Aires and the British - after all, in 1806, it was to Cordoba that the Marquis de Sobremonte fled in the wake of the first British invasion of Buenos Aires in 1806. Thus, Cordoba may well want to become independent of both the British and the newly-independent Buenos Aires (perhaps temporarily being a Spanish Royalist stronghold until the independence-movement convulsions of 1810s Spanish America). After its own independence, Cordoba may control a whole country spanning the entire interior, up to around Salta, or it might break up into some smaller republics - Cordoba, Cuyo (Mendoza/San Juan and maybe San Luis and/or La Rioja), Tucuman (plus Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, and maybe La Rioja), and Salta (plus Jujuy and Nueva Oran). If the latter possibility, Cuyo might well possibly unite with Chile and Salta etc. with Bolivia.

    I definitely see those areas, and those further south, as belonging to the British - and not to Chile - once the Mapuche and so forth are subdued.

    Britain did have the Maitland Plan, created by Major General Thomas Maitland in 1800 in order for Great Britain to compensate for the loss of most of its North American colonies during the American Revolution. While it was never employed by Britain, Home Riggs Popham (the instigator of the ad hoc 1806 invasion of Buenos Aires) did use it. Even though Popham didn't have official permission, he felt that his actions were based at least loosely on general, vague British plans/proposals.

    [Edit] Moreover, the British invested much effort, energy, and resources in India from the time that they (and other European colonial powers) established some trading posts there. In that sense, the British in South America were kind of like the British in India minus the formal colonies. With a successful conquest of Buenos Aires, the two situations would have been somewhat more similar than IOTL.

    Again, as I mentioned earlier, the Spanish would have been too weak to demand the British to give back newly-captured lands, especially after the invasion of Spain by Joseph Bonaparte in 1807-08. Plus, there should be enough British forces, plus Portuguese and indigenous allies, to not be kicked out of South America altogether by rebellious locals.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  2. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

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    You all do realize that this scenario suggests that the greatest social demographic event in Argentina's history becomes highly unlikely to occur: the massive Italian emigration (there are more people of Italian descent in Argentina now then Spanish).
     
  3. dovibear Well-Known Member

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    Actually, there might be almost as much Italian emigration as IOTL, because a) Italians would have perceived the Pampas as being richer and more fertile than just about anywhere else in the British Empire (with the possible exception of the Canadian Prairies) and b) Italian is sufficiently similar to Spanish that many Italians coming to a British Argentina would mainly have assimilated to Spanish anyway (though some would have assimilated to English) and the cultures are similar and the religion's the same, especially where we're talking about significant areas of Argentina that remain Spanish-speaking. And Italians did migrate to Anglo countries in rather big numbers as well, to the US (mainly before WWII but some thereafter) and to Canada and Australia (mainly after WWII but some beforehand), though proportionally not as much as to Argentina or Brazil.
     
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  4. Masked Grizzly Well-Known Member

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    Would Maitland have been a possible name for a British ruled Argentina/Uruguay/etc over Argentina or any other ATL names?
     
  5. dovibear Well-Known Member

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    I highly doubt it. "Argentina" is a symbolic derivative of "Rio de la Plata" or "River Plate". Just as "plata" is Spanish for silver, so "argentum" is silver in Latin. For more, see here.
     
  6. Masked Grizzly Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough.
     
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  7. Dan1988 Vamos abrir a porta da esperança!

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    Not this shit again, please -
    Here's the problem with that scenario - we don't actually know if it would have made a difference. Regardless of whoever is the colonial power, colonialism is still colonialism and colonialism is uniformly nasty and leaves legacies of skeletons in the closet that its successors may or may not address (or address them badly). Just because one changes the majority language and colonial power doesn't make all the problems disappear and put them on a bed of roses instead of a bed of thorns. In Argentina's and Uruguay's case, I don't think a formal British presence would have helped. The British had a nasty habit of keeping thing in place as they were when a particular area was colonized; in this case, had a formal presence occurred, you would not see the implantation of British (read: English; Wales had no input, while Scotland's and Ireland's would have been minimal) political culture and approach to economic development; rather, the British would have built on what was already bequeathed by the Spanish and made colonialism much more worse than OTL; if there was any impact from political culture and economic development it would have been overwhelmingly in the negative, with the people already existing bearing the brunt of the consequences. (Furthermore, Britain already had informal economic dominance over Latin America for much of the 19th century and it didn't help one bit. You did not see any changes resulting from the British presence because everyone involved was quite happy to see the preservation of status quo. In reality, I'd hold Britain as much culpable for the economic decline of Latin America in general and the Southern Cone in particular - even without direct rule, they allowed the regional economy to sink down to India-esque levels and thus made people poorer as a result then it would have been otherwise.) In other words, Britain would not have treated the Southern Cone any different from the rest of its colonies in the Global South. Also, as an aside, a British presence in the Global South would have been much more smaller, limited to the area around the Río de la Plata with the remainder of the country remaining under Spanish (most likely Peruvian/Chilean) or Portuguese (read: Brazilian) influence - just as it was in the old days before the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata was created. So the ultimate question to the title is simple - it would not have been any more prosperous and/or populous than it was IOTL, and probably more poorer. To put in the words of someone who actually lives in the region so concerned, albeit as a neighbour:

    Now, onto the specifics:
    *As to the three posts quoted in the OP and which started off this thread (when this topic has been already beaten to death), let's revisit them:
    Post No.# 1: "Argentina's modern problems relate to a series of incompetent juntas that took one of the top 7 economies and rising powers of the early 20th century and frittered it away."
    While the juntas were incompetent, yes, they didn't exist in a vacuum. Even as late as the 1990s you already had similar situations going on in Eastern Europe, even Turkey and the Balkans (for what else were the entities than mini-dictatorships). As I see it, the problem with this type of thinking is that it assumes that Argentina and Uruguay were special snowflakes when in reality they were very much no more or no less Latin American than the rest of the region. The rise of Buenos Aires (which is what the "top 7 economies" bit really talks about, which the OP does acknowledge) was born out of a unique sui generis set of circumstances that would be very hard to replicate even in Spanish colonial times. As a result, they are not modern problems nor are they problems specific to Argentina or Uruguay; they're trans-national problems with some local coloring, even if the response varies as it did in the Southern Cone compared with the rest of Latin America.
    Post No.# 2: "Argentina already was as wealthy as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S... in the 1940s.
    The causes that led to economic stagnation in the Post-War are complex and I don't think they can be summed up as "Because Argentines don't speak English".
    In fact before 1930, along with tiny Uruguay, Argentina was the only non-English speaking settler society that managed to achieve stable democratic institutions and a thriving free market economy with high standards of living outside of Europe.
    So this proves that you don't need to be English-speaking to become prosperous, even in the more prejudiced early 20th century with the UK as its major trading partner Argentina was able to do so.

    Argentina happened to embrace protectionism, autarky and corporativist economy, turning away from the free market, just as the world was beginning the longest period of economic growth recorded in modern capitalism, the post-war 1950s-1970s "Golden Years".
    Inflation and high political instability starting with the 1930 coup which ended an unprecedented 70 years of unbroken Constitutional succession before that did the rest of the job in stagnating the country. That was an unprecedented event, until then Argentina had faced popular uprisings, but never a military coup. Imagine the USA having a coup in the 1930s. It was on that scale of unusual."
    First off, I'm glad that this particular poster acknowledged that the Southern Cone's situation cannot be summarized by the population speaking the wrong language, though Argentina and Uruguay were not new before 1930 - Chile and arguably Colombia were also in a similar boat, and in the latter case even taking into account what transpired after. Also, the whole "Argentina was already as wealthy as countries X, Y, and Z" shtick is a red herring for what's going on and distracts from talking about Argentine and Uruguayan history (the latter in particular with its own separate history, including the importance of Batlle and its history as neutral ground in Latin America) by setting up a false comparison. The reality of that wealth was actually much more like Brazil's "café com leite" approach to politics and economics but more so. As for Argentina's separate path in particular - that was also not new, as many others in the Global North - even the US and Canada - also turned to the same solutions; the only difference was that they were more successful at it and embedding it into the whole "free market" thing. At the same time, Latin America (in general and the Southern Cone in particular) was denied the chance to replicate that same trajectory, keeping them more reliant on growing cash crops and similar economies built around primary products which by the laws of the free market and comparative advantage these countries were condemned to remain. That's the root of discontent in Latin America and why Argentina went the way it did and not simplistic explanations.
    Post No.# 3: "Until the 40's and 50's Argentina had a quality of life similar to Switzerland."
    Which does not mean a thing (again: red herring) since that did not apply to the vast majority of people, only a select few - as it has been in colonial and post-colonial societies. Only once the benefits were spread out among the majority - which apparently populism was willing to do as long as it was "the right sort" - did things change, even if the costs of such an unsustainable extension of the Dutch disease such as inflation.

    Of these three, Post No.# 2 probably comes closer in my view to an acknowledgement of reality and there's much I can agree with. It can be built on to create a critique of the whole "British Argentina" trope that seems to creep up every now and then because some people can't seem to acknowledge that no country's colonialism is more perfect than the other. Colonialism can be mitigated, yes, but only if the majority consent to such an arrangement - and most of the time the population was never consulted to give consent. Otherwise, colonialism is something that should not have brought to the Global South and especially replacing one form of colonialism with another form of colonialism.

    *Anyway, back to the OP:
    That, I agree, is a problem that people look only at the surface and thus go for a superficial solution for approaching Argentine history - which I think does not consider the deep roots of Argentine history and its relationship to its culture and society. Though it's also equally true that many of the superficial things are not new - many other countries also have similar issues and problems (even in Western countries, where there are also many countless examples of "corrupt political culture(s) less conducive to long-term economic development" - heck, I'm currently living in one! - and unequal land distribution). Ultimately, a big problem as I see it is a whole lot of "Did Not Do The Research" (assuming a bunch of hunky-doryism when things would not work out that way) and assume a considerable degree of historical parallelism akin to pop AH when the reality is that unless one is severely limiting the butterflies (say by making the British presence very limited, for example) there would be change that would happen from one simple act to make the world of an ATL unrecognizable.

    That was not unique to Argentina - much of Latin America was in the same boat (with some exceptions, such as Costa Rica), as did Southern and Eastern Europe and as were many areas of the Global South when they were colonized for the first time. One cannot pin it down as a specifically Argentine or Uruguayan problem that crippled economic development - if anything, in terms of economy it didn't seem to leave much impact other than confirming the existing status quo at that time as a power struggle among the élites. It's not like someone wanted to go full-on Solano López.

    While generally true, it also ignores one reason why so much was possible in the Argentine military - that like other countries in the world, no matter whether rich or poor, poor people will be attracted to the military because it is perceived as a way out of poverty. OTOH when we talking about the interior, we shouldn't see it as one giant monolithic unit but as a network of distinct regions, with their own cultures, dialects, and traditions. The Cuyo (which used to be Chilean) is different from Mesopotamia, which was the way it was because of the Jesuit missions (similar to neighboring Paraguay) which started off OK until the Jesuits were expelled, for example.

    So let's revisit that last part I quoted first:
    That bit would be true, yes, but only if one realizes it as a small enclave and allow the remainder of the Viceroyalty to fall apart or regroup into other entities (i.e. Cuyo, the Falklands/Malvinas, and Patagonia as fully Chilean territory, giving us a Chile-wank in the process - maintenant celà, y-a-t'il une idée uchroniale, peut-être?). If one realizes it as something other than that, that's when you have problems because while some things may be butterflied, others may not and/or new problems would arise. And what is not to say that once the British leave the population - overjoyed at becoming independent from colonialism - would not turn to similar solutions (i.e. India under Nehru). Actions have consequences.

    That to me sounds like a dubious statement that not only confuses correlation with causation but also sounds pretty deterministic without taking into account alternatives. There are other ways to approach Argentine history and give it a more positive outcome without having to rely on colonial rule by outsiders. Costa Rica is a good example for our purposes and is very instructive - much like Argentina, Costa Rica was on the fringes of the Spanish colonial empire (and later, if only briefly, Iturbide's Mexican empire) and was also a society dominated by agriculture - beef in Argentina's case, coffee (and later bananas) in Costa Rica's case. Yet Costa Rica managed to (largely) avoid the strife and civil wars plaguing Central America (and in one case in fact intervened to preserve the sovereignty of Nicaragua, a neighbor to Costa Rica - hence the legend of Juan Santamaría, the drummer boy and Costa Rican national hero who sacrificed his life and thus helped save Nicaraguan independence and preserved the separate existence of Costa Rica as a country) and managed the grow and develop politically and economically. Even Uruguay, despite the troubles of the mid-20th century, has a history with comparatively less legacy issues than Argentina. Therefore, as one set of potential alternatives, one should not ask if Argentina would have been more prosperous had it been Anglophone or under British colonial rule. Rather, we should ask if Argentina would have been more prosperous had it been more like Costa Rica and/or if Uruguay was the nucleus for the development of modern Argentina. That would allow for the possible of positive internal development with some mindfulness towards an example of another Latin American country on the high end of the scale. Even the "Spanish legacy" has features which can be utilized for a more democratic development of its political system and make incorporating "the modern world" much less onerous and more in keeping with tradition than it would otherwise have been. All these possibilities would have been denied if one went for appropriating from someone/somewhere else and which would be only skin-deep para Inglés ver and would probably incur only major damage along with the change.
     
  8. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

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    the one case id buy for anglophone argentinas being more prosperous is due to trade links. ofc "more prosperous" doesn't mean it wouldn't suffer instability/a relative decline. Australia/NZ suffered that OTL for alot of the 20th century until the last two decades or so.

    pessimistic cases: around OTL's
    realistic cases: lower-end "first world"
    lucky/good scenarios: middle range first world
     
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  9. deathstrokenorris Ah Israel, que país tan interesante

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    There are many plans for many things. That doesn't mean they are factible or desirable.
    And India was a money cow and the crown jewel of the British empire. South America isn't.
    And the british can afford to station part of their very limited forces there while war is raging in Europe because...? The river Plate colony is worthless at the time, there is no reason for them to have a military presence there, just like how the spaniards barely had anything.

    Also, the Portuguese in SA weren't anything to write home about, neither in stability or power.
     
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  10. Lenwe Well-Known Member

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    Just nitpicking but Argentina in OTL Is Lower end "first world" as come on she is part of the G20
     
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  11. dovibear Well-Known Member

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    I now acknowledge that it would have been significantly more complicated than just that making Argentina (including Uruguay) an Anglophone country would have made it much more prosperous, and that the benefits of British colonialism would have been far from evenly distributed. (More of those benefits would have accrued to the British settlers and their descendants - a significant minority of the overall population and a majority in some areas - than to the preexisting Spanish-speaking white inhabitants and certainly more than to the indigenous peoples.) Changing the language (or linguistic balance) and the colonial power might put them on a bed of partly roses and partly thorns instead of a bed of all thorns.

    Let’s just say, to start with, that those areas which the British annex which are already inhabited by Spanish-speaking Europeans (e.g. Uruguay; Buenos Aires) get an overlay of English common law on the existing Spanish legal system in the same way that the British imposed a similar overlay in Quebec and the Cape Colony, such that you get a mixed English-Spanish legal system in the same way that Quebec (and also Louisiana) is mixed English-French and South Africa is mixed English-Dutch. Indeed, the British enact something similar to the Quebec Act to preserve Spanish law and Catholicism for the sake of the existing European population; it may work better in some areas, like Uruguay, which aren’t as populous or rebellious, than in other areas, like Buenos Aires. And in the areas like Patagonia where there aren’t existing European inhabitants and where there are just indigenous peoples (albeit quite formidable) to defeat in order to make way for British settlement, the British political and economic-development cultures could indeed be fully implanted and thus the legal system (at least on the provincial level) is 100% English common law. For more on what I’m talking about, see James C. Bennett’s Anglosphere Primer. In short, the higher the percentage of British and other Anglo people (including descendants of German, Swiss, Dutch, and Scandinavian immigrants) in the population, and the lower the percentage of descendants of the preexisting Spanish population, the more prosperous an area would be (at least traditionally - though perhaps some Spanish areas do their "Quiet Revolution" not unlike 1960s Quebec).

    Taking from some countries that are examples of the "good colonialism" (except, of course, for the indigenous peoples): I’m trying to think how it is that the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand all become quite economically developed at the same time as they became Anglophone – I guess because (with the exception of Quebec in Canada) the core areas of all these countries have been Anglophone (and filled with British settlers) from the start of European settlement without having been previously inhabited by non-British Europeans? And that would have maximized the benefits of the political culture and approach to economic development first developed in England during the Magna Carta that has worked wonders?

    Australia and New Zealand are unusual among First World countries in that their economies depend on primary products (just about at Latin American levels, or almost) more than other First World economies do.

    Believe me, I’ve done TONS of research on this sort of topic; in fact, I’ve now spent almost 15 years doing this, including on Alternatehistory.com, and I’m still learning new things every day, including from all of you. I have to admit that I may have a bit of a bias and an agenda in the direction and approach of my research, like taking analogies - to a fault - from Canada, Australia, or South Africa. I see, for example, that South Africa is much wealthier per capita and more First World than almost all the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, and that Japan (plus Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, etc.) is the same thing relative to the rest of Asia, and that Argentina once occupied a similar position in South America and in Latin America in general. I also see that South America is the only continent without a major erstwhile British formal colonial presence (with Guyana and the Falklands barely counting). Plus, I see that in the early 20th century, Argentina had the potential to be another Canada in terms of economic development (having a similar population level). Until now I’ve figured that at least part of OTL Argentina/Uruguay would fit the bill on all three counts with an 1807 success in Buenos Aires, but I’m now increasingly seeing that it would have been much more complicated than that, thanks in part to all of you guys.

    Even though it’s true that Chile as well as Argentina claimed Patagonia just before extensive OTL European development of Patagonia, I’d still say that ITTL the British have a head-start over the Chileans in claiming and developing Patagonia (the British being much more powerful than the Chileans). After all, if the River Plate area (Buenos Aires and Uruguay alike) turns out not to be viable at all for British settlement and development, that basically just leaves Patagonia and the adjacent southern Pampas for those purposes!

    Most probably, the Costa Rica or Uruguay approaches don’t work extremely well for a Buenos Aires-centric Argentina, as Costa Rica and Uruguay are much smaller in population and area than Argentina as a whole and also significantly smaller on both these counts than Buenos Aires (City and Province put together). As for a Uruguay-centric Argentina (e.g. the early-19th century Liga Federal), that might indeed be better off than its neighbor of Buenos Aires-centric Argentina, which in that case might be smaller than IOTL.

    Dan1988, I have a few final questions that might sound personal: Do you live in Canada (just like I do)? Are you or your family originally from South America? And do you do alternate history on South America and elsewhere just as a hobby, like all of us do, or are you an academic who’s interested in related topics?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  12. dovibear Well-Known Member

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    The primary British goal in that area at that time is trade, and the secondary British goal is to set up Royal Navy bases.
     
  13. juanml82 Well-Known Member

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    Which they can get with a friendly independent government.
    You underestimate how violent and tenacious everyone in the region was at the time. A British settlement around modern Bahia Blanca? They either make a deal with the Mapuches or they'll be raided non stop. And I mean non-stop. A British occupation of modern Uruguay? See how that worked for the Portuguese and later the Brazilians, and they had their base of operations next door. Occupation of parts of modern Argentina? Every rural landowner had its own private little army (made out of the rural workers) to protect their lands form raids from the natives (which would raid your proposed Bahia Blanca outpost), and they've used it for over forty years of intermittent civil war IOTL.
    It would be a permanent drain of British lives... which is just not worth it because the UK can get everything they want from the region without shedding a single drop of blood.
     
  14. deathstrokenorris Ah Israel, que país tan interesante

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    Which
    A) They weren't very interested in IRL.
    b) Would still be years away from being built and most of those forces would get recalled once the Napoleonic wars start.
     
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  15. Dan1988 Vamos abrir a porta da esperança!

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    OK, I'm going to have to stop you right there - I may only be on page 2, but this one raised a red flag for me - because you are intruding onto la territoire et la patrimonie that I'm pretty familiar with, and that part of Québec/French-Canadian history is not exactly what you make it out be.

    First off, the Québec Act - or, to give it its formal name, the British North America (Quebec) Act, 1774 (14 Geo. III c. 83). No, it was not given act as a random act of kindness, nor for that matter was it to pacify the French-Canadians. Also, it wasn't a sui generis solution just specifically for Canada. That kind of legislation was actually built on precedent deep into British history, of which Scotland was one example (as a union of equals) and before that with what we now call the Crown dependencies (the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). Even Wales and Ireland temporarily fell into this before their forced integration into England (in the case of Wales) or the UK (in the case of Ireland - and even then Ireland still retained a civil service based at Dublin Castle and its own body of law and legal system). The case of Canada initially fell into the Welsh/Irish mold of things, as the product of a conquest. So the Québec Act was nothing new nor ground-breaking. Now, having noted that I don't think that Britain would be as generous for the rest of the Empire - the Southern Cone included - as it did for Canada, because of the peculiar local dimension of the Québec Act, one which gets overlooked in discussion of this piece of legislation. Of all the colonies within the British and French empires, Canada and Acadia were actually unique and was set out as a different example from France itself. What should be kept in mind when talking about New France and the Conquest is that rather than as a bog-standard colonial enterprise which France applied to its Caribbean colonies and the rest of the Global South, New France was specifically founded as a reaction against the Wars of Religion tearing apart Europe, France included.

    Its founders, including such luminaires like Champlain (who's a quite enigmatic figure himself) and Louis Hébert (one of New France's early governors), conceived New France as one where Catholic and Protestant could coëxist quite peacefully with each other, as if the Wars of Religion never happened, and as part of the Nouveau Monde as a place where Aboriginal people could quite happily be both themselves and as positive and co-equal contributors of New France society. In that sense it was an idealized version of France itself which was better than the France of reality, one which was rooted in the desires of ordinary people. To pilfer some pre-1960s traditional French-Canadian nationalist language (though for a completely different purpose), from the beginning of its conception New France was considered special, as the product of a messianic mission to be an example to the mère-patrie of how things should be like rather than how it became. Now there were those at Versailles (Cardinal Richelieu among them) who tried to subvert that ideal and tried to make New France fit into a box, but fortunately that didn't really happen at all - indeed, we have documentary evidence existing in archives in both France and Canada where successive members of the colonial bureaucracy constantly complained to the Palace about those "ingrates" who threw out all convention and protocol as the bureaucrats and élites themselves knew it and basically had ideas well above their rank and station. In effect the habitants were engaging in a quiet rebellion with the mother country which made life difficult for Versailles - so when the Treaty of Paris came around the French were glad to get rid of their vast holdings in North America - it just simply wasn't worth it, between a perceived disobedient population and a financial sinkhole sunk deeply into a fur industry which did not provide the type of quick riches found in France's Caribbean colonies.

    And as for the Conquest? The Canadiens just simply carried on as they always did and well honed with their experiences with French colonial bureaucracy basically applied the same tactics to the British conquerors. They weren't going to let something as pesky as a religious test (which officially barred Catholics from openly practicing their religion and participating in public life) to stand as a barrier. The difference? The British Army was willing to go along, as far as it could, until they received orders from Whitehall to act differently. In reality things kept going on as before because the Army quickly realized that if they actually carried out its instructions the place would fall apart rather quickly. All the Québec Act did was just provided a de jure stamp of approval to what had been going on de facto and which required an insane amount of figleaves to cover it all up, thanks to the persistence of the Canadiens in insisting in carrying on life as it always had; the British basically very quickly learned the lesson the French did not when it opened Pandora's box. But any colonial power could have done the same bargain in Canada the British did, and for proof of that we actually have Louisiana. When Louisiana became part of the Spanish Empire in 1763, the Spanish administered Louisiana much like how the British Army initially administered Canada. Indeed, so much of Louisiana life continued as it did under French rule that the administrators in Havana required translators who could explain in Spanish what was going on. Now, granted, much like with the British in Canada, the Spaniards did try to make Louisiana a proper Spanish colony but just like with Canada, that didn't really work out as planned. Had Louisiana remained Spanish after 1802 (instead of being retroceded to France) and thus became part of Mexico one New Spain became independent (for la Luisiana was formally a district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain) I would not be surprised if the arrangement continued and thus Louisiana would remained as before, only with the administration based in Mexico City rather than Havana. Would certainly make for an interesting TL.

    Which brings up an essential difference between Spanish America and New France. While New France was formed in reaction to events in Europe, Spanish America was founded as an extension of Spain in the New World, as an expansion of the Reconquista. The institutions set up by the Spanish and which were inherited by its successor nations reflected this fact as well as its tendency to leave well enough alone (particularly in cases like Mexico and Peru) and just expanded on what already existed. The frontier nature of much of what became the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and its own peculiar successor nations is illustrative - the Viceroyalty only existed because of the silver mines in Potosí and not because of the growth and development of Buenos Aires - while an important factor in ensuring the Spanish controlled its borders, it was basically secondary as all trade was officially routed through Lima. The main Buenos Aires would have any importance - officially - to the Spanish was because the Río de la Plata was hotly contested between the Spanish and the Portuguese, who considered the estuary as a natural extension of its colonial empire in Brazil (and in particular the fields of the Banda Oriental, now modern Uruguay). So the region already had experience being a frontier warzone, and would consider the British no different. Furthermore, because of the often contentious and - frankly - more distant relationship between the UK (through England) and Spain, neither the British nor the porteños would have anything akin to the relationship between the British and the Canadiens, even if the porteños developed an attachment to their fueros and colonial institutions similar to but different from the Canadiens. In addition, as the OTL invasions were actually illegal, the reaction between the British high command and the military authorities would be much different. The British would be under no obligation to continue things as they existed before the Spanish - and its because of that where porteños IOTL resisted the British invasions and eventually forced them out. So unlike Canada there would not be an amicable meeting of the minds, since from the beginning of British rule it would be a mutually hostile relationship between the locals and the British. If the British do decide to continue some facets of Spanish rule, then it would end up like how the British treated the caste system in India. Whereas before the British came the caste system was largely fluid and varied considerably throughout South Asia (to the point where it's actually difficult to define a caste system as such), once the British came and had their hands on it the caste system became a very rigid system of social control modelled on the English class system and thus kept the lower classes in place. While French-Canadians loved to complain about Anglo-American capital and the British/Anglo-Canadian colonizers conspiring to keep French-Canadians down and in their place, French-Canadians honestly didn't have anything comparable to the rest of the Global South despite the poverty of the majority since even in the dark ages of French-Canadian history there was always some retention of the fluidity of French-Canadian society and an unusually remarkable ability to adapt to new situations; French-Canadians never lived in a society as rigid as that which existed in the British Empire in the Global South.

    Which brings me to my final observation, this time on the rebellions in Lower Canada, which Lord Durham completely misunderstood, and in particular after the failed Rebellions of 1837-8, combined with the disastrous implications in the Durham Report that wanted to force all French-Canadians to assimilate into "civilized" (read: British/Anglo-Canadian) society. Much like the Québec Act, there are a lot of misconceptions that float around 1837 which have been used to support one side or another. Reality, as it always has a habit to do, is much more complex. The reality is that there too was a non-linguistic/non-ethnic basis to the rebellions in Québec - heck, a good portion of the leadership was actually Irish (with their own issues pertaining to British rule). Furthermore, 1837 was not an attempt to secede from the British Empire (those moves actually happened after 1837 failed and most of the leadership fled into exile in the United States to avoid capture), but as a rebellion designed to pressure the colonial government to attempt reforms to better reflect reality and grant democratic rights to the majority population - much like similar rebellions back in Europe in the same decade and concurrent with similar rebellions and sentiments in the UK itself. Unfortunately, the reality was totally ignored by Lord Durham and his Report on the Affairs of British North America, aka the Durham Report - the Report insinuated that French-Canadians had "no history and no culture" (which the intelligentsia denounced and thus tried to present their case, which probably partially explains Québec's obsession over history, though one could also assume that Lord Durham read it through a class-riddled analysis with French-Canadians collectively representing the lower classes of which he would no doubt be familiar with in England), and it was he who would over-simplify and heavily distort 1837 as being a clash of cultures between the English and the French, which he believed could only happen if the Canadiens simply did not exist and were forcibly assimilated into the English population. When the Act of Union of 1840 tried to put into practice, French-Canadians went on the defensive and became more insular, and from there changed considerably in reaction by accepting some (but not all) of the realities of being a colonized people as would be found in the Global South. Before 1837, French-Canadians had a confident nationalism which was open and welcoming, similar to liberal views elsewhere in the Anglosphere but rooted deep into French-Canadian culture as a reaction against the French colonial period. They welcomed British colonialism despite the implications (although it could be argued that "welcomed" would be too strong of a word, as I've noted already) and later on the restrictions placed on French-Canadian representation in the colonial Legislative Assembly. After 1837, things changed considerably, as if la nation was chastened by what had happened. While there were still those who preached the old liberal nationalism and the constructiveness of working with l'autre côté, the nationalist movement became more conservative, more isolationist, ultramontane, and shaped the opinions of Québec to the outside world and to a considerable segment of its own people for generations - complete with the pillars for survival. Indeed, survival - la survivance - was the watchword during this period (and arguably a continuation of the resistance to the British by acting as French-Canadians always did), which led to an informal division of power between the 'English' and the 'French' (themselves much more diverse than the nationalists were willing to let on by misusing terminology to present a simplistic worldview for a very complex reality). If you were to place French-Canadian nationalists in general into a pigeon hole of politics in the mère-patrie, then I would collectively place Québec politics as a whole on the Right, even if the Liberals had tendencies which would also place them in the Centre to moderate Left. As an over-simplification, I'd collectively place a considerable portion of French-Canadian nationalists in with the Legitimists (considering their nostalgia of the French colonial period), while both the moderates among the Right and conservatives among the Liberals would find common ground with the Orleanists. Unlike in France, though, our *Legitimists were fully in control of the historical narrative of Québec history. As one can imagine, this stasis would clearly lead it to disaster were it to remain unchecked. Canada really didn't "keep on developing" - a very Whiggish POV if there ever was one - when the same government and its lackeys still held back the development and modernization of French-Canadian society by constantly reminding them of their second-class citizenship status.

    However, by the standards of the historiography of the British Empire, 1837 was comparatively mild (as much as I hate using that phrase) - it wasn't like, for example, the Sepoy Rebellion or the Opium Wars. 1837 was basically a blip on the radar, one which did have some eventual effect (though benefiting Ontario more than it ever did Québec, and even today the general historical narrative of 1837-8 tends to focus more on the simultaneous rebellions in Upper Canada, now Ontario, than what was going on in Lower Canada). Furthermore, 1837 was also a one-time thing which sticks out in Canadian history because it's atypical of how modern Canadians view themselves. It's an uncomfortable part of their own history which was crucial in the long term, but only in hindsight. The same would not be true for the Southern Cone if the British made a permanent. I'd expect rebellion to be quite common, even if the British were reduced to just an enclave centered around Buenos Aires much like Hong Kong. I would not be surprised if Hong Kong's history under the British also included some rebellion and rioting (much like the early history of Japanese rule over Taiwan, I should add) because the way life was organized in colonial Hong Kong was racially segregated with Europeans on top and Chinese on the bottom, even with the latter in degrading conditions. No one would be able to take a situation like that by keeping one's head down and carrying on with life, and that would also apply to the Southern Cone. Only this time even more so, with an alternation between resentment and rebellion (the latter fed by resentment) among the majority, which would impede British rule unless it was addressed and which could be addressed in numerous ways, from symbolic bones para Españoles ver, all the way to stuff which would lead to kicks and bans if someone tried advocating them on this forum. Unfortunately, the 19th century being the 19th century, we can all guess at what a colonial power would actually try in the face of it, and the result is what actually happened most of the time in colonial empires in the Global South.

    Just my 10 cents (Canadian).
     
  16. Dan1988 Vamos abrir a porta da esperança!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Location:
    ATL Royaume du Canada
    Umm, -

    In a US context, that was largely a New England thing (there were many other colonies within the Thirteen that tried to avoid as much of that as possible), and the US has come close to falling apart politically several times, even as far as civil war. Nor for that matter did the British - who largely built on what already existed - create local governments for the benefit of the majority, who had to fight to get that to happen. If there was any functioning government after colonization ended, it was in spite of the British, not because of them.

    That doesn't quite tell the whole story. Sure, Spanish America was heavily centralized, but even within centralization one needs to have local government to make sure on a day-to-day level things were still functioning. And local government certainly did exist in Spanish America (indeed, if you pay careful attention to Spanish American history, in South America in particular a good portion of the drive for independence came from the cabildos of the metropolitan centers. That was definitely the case in Argentina, aided of course by external factors. And if one paid attention to the actual model that was introduced by Spain at the time, even taking the frontier status of the Southern Cone into account, it would be actually to see how one could tweak the halfway house of a model into something that could have resembled a genuine parliamentary democracy. No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater if the baby was sick.
     
  17. dovibear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal
    Before I go any further, I just want to say one more thing in furtherance to post #111, in reaction to Dan1988's post #107:

    The following is what I probably should have said at the beginning of this thread (the words in bold indicating what should have been there): "In my opinion, a formal British presence in Argentina would have made a huge difference in butterflying away the 19th century civil wars, the 1930 coup, Peronism, etc. as long as there is at least some Anglo settlement. As some posters have already said, the British political culture and approach to economic development (at least for an area like Argentina that's conducive to large-scale European agriculture/development) does a much better job than the Spanish legacy, at least when it comes to the sector composed of white English speakers (mainly but not exclusively descendants of Anglo and other Northern European immigrants)."

    What I'm trying to get at here is that I maintain that the British would have been a force for good in places like the Southern Cone as long as there is a leavening agent like a significant influx of Anglo settlers plus others who'll acculturate into English - at least for themselves, maybe not necessarily for the Spanish-speakers and so forth. (I see a British Argentina being just about 40% white Anglo, perhaps even more, rising to 65-70% or more in Patagonia and the south Pampas. Not as much overall as in the US, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, but more than South Africa and elsewhere in Africa or in India, Malaysia, the British West Indies, etc.) If, on the other hand, there's a formal British colonial presence without many British settlers (even including places like Kenya or India, where there were some but not many British settlers), then I could see what Dan1988, Lenwe, and some others are saying about how a British presence wouldn't be better than the alternative and probably even worse.

    I live in Montreal but I'm part of the Anglo sector there. I assume you're Québécois/French-Canadian yourself?

    But didn't New France ban the settlement of Huguenots and Jews, I thought?! For example, look at the case of Esther Brandeau, a Jew who was able to move to New France only because she posed as a Catholic boy, and when her true identity was discovered and she resisted, she was deported.

    One thing I said early in this thread bears repeating: The French did put up a good fight against the British both just before and just after the British victory at the Plains of Abraham in 1759. (And in earlier English/British invasions of Quebec City, the French were victorious.) In Quebec City in 1759, the British were nearly defeated. Even in the lead-up to the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, French troops did quite well before the tide turned towards the British; in the spring of 1760, a number of months after the Plains of Abraham, French troops were victorious over the British at the Battle of Sainte-Foy, though by then the British were on their way to winning the war as a whole with the 1760 victory in Montreal, coming from three directions (not just Quebec City).

    But I thought that Louis Hartz, in his 1964 book The Founding of New Societies, classifies both French Quebec and Latin America as being feudal (= pre-liberal) fragments. As against Anglo Canada, the United States, and Dutch South Africa being [classic] liberal fragments, and Anglo South Africa plus Australia/New Zealand being radical fragments. These all reflect the varying times in European history when the founding peoples of those societies left Europe.

    That perhaps might be even truer in Buenos Aires, with its bigger population, than in Montevideo. IOTL, after the February 1807 British victory there, the bilingual Southern Star newspaper was founded in order to promote loyalty to the British crown. The victor (Gen. Samuel Auchmuty) did everything he can to warm up the locals to British rule, with a reasonable amount of success - up until the British evacuated the city in the aftermath of the defeat at Buenos Aires.

    On another matter, is there someone on this forum who is as articulate on the differences between the Cape Colony (plus Boer Republics) and the Rio de la Plata as Dan1988 is on the differences between Quebec/New France and the Rio de la Plata?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  18. dovibear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal
    Other comparably violent and tenacious places during the 19th century include the following: The North American Great Plains and especially the American West; New Zealand (e.g. Maori Wars); South Africa; Australia (both in terms of convicts and in terms of wars with Aborigines). And they all subsequently get settled by Europeans, with the original goals being much more modest than outright settlement. A century or two earlier, and even to some extent in the 19th century, eastern North America also witnessed wars with the Indians.

    The British take over the naval base in Montevideo from the Spanish, so they make immediate use of that. Yes it's true that many British soldiers get recalled to the Peninsular War and yes it takes years for most other naval bases to be built, but once 1815 is past and the Napoleonic Wars are over, some British soldiers are free to staff said bases.

    Besides, another British sub-goal for the area is to serve as a stopping station on the way to (but not from) India given the ocean current patterns. That explains part of the goal for the naval bases as well.
     
  19. juanml82 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Location:
    Buenos Aires
    Peronism would be butterflied away simply due the, well, butterfly effect. Whether that's good or not it's another matter altogether, specially considering Peronism is the only political party in the last 45 years under which rule the Argentine economy grew - for almost half a century, non peronist government always left the country poorer than they've received it.
    I'd also like to know what do you believe was the political system/culture in post-independence Argentina (or every prior to that). As for civil wars, it would replace it with a protracted independence war against the UK
     
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  20. juanml82 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Location:
    Buenos Aires
    In which one of them the natives had safe haven and support from a neighboring nation and in how many of them did the natives lack firearms and horses? And I'm also including the criollos among the vicious defenders. Why would the British, based in the UK, fare better in the conquest of Uruguay, than the Portuguese/Brazilians, who shared a land border with Uruguay?
     
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