how many states in the Caribbean

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by 606jae, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

    Sep 19, 2012
    The left coast...
    A chronic occurrence is how challenging it is for folk to work out the notion that certain events are de facto ASB based on extremely low probabilities. By the way, this is one of the major reasons why professional historians are so reluctant to deal with counterfactuals as thought experiments - they rapidly becomes fantasy fiction rather than logical speculation.
    Which by way is fine, as long as everyone is upfront about a thread being a piece of fiction - say as in various wanks.
  2. VirginiaStronk Stop Stalin, update!

    Sep 16, 2017
    I don’t think it’s unthinkable for at least a couple Carribean states do join. After all, the South wanted Cuba to join for a while, and if they can try to make whatever island a slave state I’m sure they’ll try. Of course, how the US is supposed to challenge Spain in the Antebellum is beyond me. Maybe during the Napoleonic Wars they could buy it from France, if they for whatever reason take some of Spain’s/Britain’s colonies?
    John I of Brazil and Hawkeye like this.
  3. King-Emperor Active Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    Cuba and the Dominican Republic almost happened in OTL, and the other Carribean countries besides to my knowledge did not have nationalist sentiment prior to decolonization. For a later POD, the British, French, and Dutch could cede their colonies in exchange for greater US support in the World Wars, sort of a Destroyers for Bases Agreement on steroids. I'm not sure how to snag Haiti, though.
  4. Atamolos Pontifex, princeps, and augustus

    Dec 22, 2014
    The island from Lost
    I think some people are forgetting that Hawaii was, and still is, a minority-majority state. Sure it may be unlikely for the entire Caribbean to gain statehood all at once, but it’s a fallacy to assume that’s how statehood would fall over the Caribbean. Louisiana was purchased all at once, and was gradually partitioned into numerous states over the course of the following century. There’s nothing outlandish about something similar happening with the Caribbean
  5. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Tennessee, North American Union
    They wouldn't, because both were separate colonies. They would join as states (18th century) or territories (late 18th century onward). At this early of a date, it might have some interesting ramifications on the concept of statehood or ratification of the Constitution. Each had about 1/5 that of the least populous state (Delaware), so you'd have a much more vigorous debate on how much power small states (especially majority black) should have. At the same time, Bermuda and the Bahamas aren't going to want to cede their rights to distant Virginia or Florida, and there's still issues between those two colonies to sort out (the Turks and Caicos were disputed between the two).

    If gained later (US can't realistically gain Bermuda at any point between 1815 and the 1890s, except maybe with a Franco-British war in the mid-late 19th century, Bahamas is another story), then they still won't be combined with other territories. Bermuda is too far away from Virginia, and its legislators won't want to travel that far across the stormy Atlantic to Richmond. It's population will also be higher than Nevada (and same goes with the Bahamas) by the end of the 19th century, so that takes away another argument. They'd likely want to stay as self-governing territories.

    Come the 20th century, there will likely be a push for statehood in the Bahamas, which will be attracting more white immigrants. Since Jim Crow laws will be in place in the Bahamas, there's no real objection to admitting a 50-60% black state since most of those blacks will be disenfranchised anyway. The population will swell as the 20th century continues and the islands are opened for Florida-style development (OTL Bahamas is one of the least densely populated countries on Earth) which will develop the economy of the islands. It would be surprising if the Bahamas didn't have 1-2 million people by the 21st century.
    Atamolos likes this.
  6. NiGHTS BMC-14

    Mar 31, 2016
    Sankt Zulieferer, Marsreich
    Isn't that the whole point of alternate history though? To basically make fiction. Are people here literally trying yo find out how things in an alternate timeline would look like on an academic level?
    VirginiaStronk likes this.
  7. RMcD94 Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2010
    Dominion of Scotland, Imperial Commonwealth
    Many people have trouble imagining that reality could have turned out anything other than it did and assume exceptionalism at every corner. Many people would say that the events of OTL are ASB and do so when you don't tell them they're from OTL.
  8. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

    Sep 19, 2012
    The left coast...
    Well, most threads here aren't story telling but extrapolations about reasonable, if at time slim, alternatives to events. And when it is presented as stories (i.e. the wanks), there is a general understanding as to there being a limit of rolling 7's...

    What would happen if Anne Boleyn gave birth to a son instead of Elizabeth?

    That is straightforward.
    What if Robert E. Lee had married a free black woman; how would that affected his command of the Army of Northern Virginia?
    That is jumping the shark, in a number of ways.

    A few folk here have attempted to point out the original proposition falls in the second category.
    You can win the lottery, and you could be hit by lightening, and a meteor, at the same moment. Now, how about a supposing based on that...
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  9. assasin Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2014

    That a boring way to look at it. Any POD engenders more PODs. Basic butterfly effect. One small change means a completely different world a couple hundred years down the line. The fun part is how to get there. Obviously a POD where Lee marries a black woman means he cannot be in command of a confederate army. But a POD in the 1790s leading to statehood of the Caribbean in the early 1900s is a lot more flexible. Plenty of interesting propositions. Start with something involving the Quasi War or Haiti and move from there. The 21st century US will be completely different to OTL. But the scenario itself doesn't require it being the same. Therefore the scenario isn't ASB.
  10. DougM Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2015
    Alternative fiction is fun and I enjoy it. But this is a discussion of possible alternative history.
    And in order to achieve this alternative outcome you will need many unlikely PODs. And these PODs need tostill somehow result in more or less the USA as we know it.
    I contend that buy the time you achieve enough a change to accomplish the result in question you will have changed the USA so much that it will no longer be the USA.

    If Robert E Lee was born to a different mother, in a different year with different siblings and married a different woman I contend that just because this new person is named Robert E Led he is in fact not the Robert E Lee we know. So the likely hood of him achieveing the same basic things in his live that the original REL did is so slim as to be impossible,

    And the same holds true for a lot of alternative histories, By the time you make enough changes to get the desired outcome you have changed things to far. This is one example of that and the delaying WW1 threads we see here are often another example
  11. NiGHTS BMC-14

    Mar 31, 2016
    Sankt Zulieferer, Marsreich
    So, doesn't that show why trying to hold ourselves to such a degree of detail and scrutiny is self defeating. That sometimes we do need to stretch things a bit with hardwaves in order to do what we need to do in order to accept the premise? Why would Thomas Jefferson have a heart attack? Why would Hitler redirect forces to North Africa? Because they just do. Otherwise you can't explore the effects of those events.
  12. DougM Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2015
    I don’t have an issue with one change maybe even a couple related changes but the amount of changes needed to get to work is so drastic that you no longer HAVE a United Sates of America. You have moved to far. It is no longer the same thing,
    If you start to fix the problems with “Star Wars” and you make so many changes that it is now a Spaghetti Western staring Clint Eastwood. You have no achieved your objective of fixing Star Wars.
    And by the time you make all the extremely large changes (some of them going back hundreds of years) you are not getting the US has states in the Caribbean, you are getting a federation that happens to cover much of North America that in OTL was the US and extends into the Caribbean.

    I have a nice alt history fantasy book about spell casting replacing technology sitting on my book case but it is not really a good basis for a discussion in this group.

    It is one thing to speculate on the unlikely. My problem is that the changes needed to make this happen will be so drastic that it won’t be recognizable as the same country.

    You could turn FDR into an extreme conservative but then he is not the FDR we knew. Now if your goal is to discuss this radically different FDR fine. But if you goal is to to put the “real” FDR into a different history then changing him into a conservative Republican is not going to get you there.

    So what is it you want the US basically as we know it having states in the Caribbean or a government covering the area that is OTL the US and including large chunks of the Caribbean?

    Because the the US had opritunities to have states like this. Hawaii and various Pacific territories and of course Porta Rico being the obvious examples and it took until the 50s for Hawaii. And that was probably helped by all the troops that visited Hawaii during the war. And of orce PR is still not a state. So we have 2% of the US being similar to what the OP wants. And I was willing to give you up to 10%. So I think the real world evidence is that you don’t just have to give the US the chance to gain Caribbean states you also have to change the views of the citizens and politicians in the US and by the time you do that we will no longer be recognizable as the US.

    Just two examples. You have the over come racism and doing it that well probably means the US never had a slave trade and thus no Civil War. And the second thing you need to do (and I have NO idea how) is have the existing political blocks like the Deep South or New England or any other subdivision of senators and or representatives not be worried about losing their influence. The only way I can see that happening is if you start off from day one in 1776 with them being States.

    So once I hear some basic ideas how this strange new world happens then we can speculate on how many states the US could have in the Caribbean. Otherwise I just don’t see more then a couple being possible in anything close to OTL USA
    Musadutoe and Marc like this.
  13. Wendell Wendell

    Jun 8, 2005
    Lost in what might have been
    Bahamas + Turks & Caicos form a single territory
    Jamaica + Cayman Islands is one state
    Santo Domingo
    Puerto Rico
    Lesser Antilles (including USVI) are one state.
    Musadutoe likes this.
  14. Musadutoe Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2015
    IMO the original post is interesting and the counter arguments raised is what makes this website so very interesting. One could argue that this post sits in the fence between AH Discussion Prior to 1900 and ASB.

    Doug M makes very real points which would need to be addressed to keep this possible versus fanciful. To that end, the mechanisms for this change posted below are random thoughts not necessarily tied to one another but also understanding that not one of the mechanisms posted below is strong enough to be the only stand alone change to make the Caribbean islands states of the USA.
    • Stronger enforcement or at least a different interpetation / evolution of the Monroe Doctrine sooner which manifests itself in the USA taking a position of regional annexation by the end of the 1800's.
    • War of 1812 won decisively by the USA
    • WW1 and more specifically WW2 going even more badly for the original Allies that the transfer of the European colonies in the Caribbean was a part of the deal.
    • Cold War Domino Theory either more actual; i.e. SEA turning Communism faster or a real proxy Cold War fought in the Caribbean
    • Spanish-American War lasting longer with more battles fought throughout the region
    • Similar to the Alaska Purchase, Spain sells its colonies to the USA or for that matter any other European nations during the second half of the 1800's looks to the USA for cash.
    • Mexico does declare war on the USA during WW1.
    These above scenarios do not necessarily deal with the political balance of power in the USA and the balance and control of that power, so I foresee that after the Spanish-American War when Teddy Roosevelt is President that he drives the USA to making its new found holdings in the Carribbean territories. In this post, statehood would not be realized until after WW2 similar to Hawaii and Alaska.

    With all of this being said, expanding upon what Wendell has posted, the following "states" is what I would expect to see if this came to fruition:

    States - Option #1
    • Greater Antilles (Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico) - Culturally diverse and to that end internally at odds with one another which is how the Senate and Congress would like for it to remain.
    • Lesser Antilles - Insignificant but made a state to keep the number of states at an even number.
    States - Option #2
    • Greater Antilles (Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and Dominican Republic)
    • Lesser Antilles (Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles islands)

    The Others:
    • Bahamas and Turks & Caicos are annxed into Florida
    • Bermuda too far away to be considered. At most is a territory or with a military base option into perpetuity agreed upon the the U.K..
    • Barbados too far away or simply remained a part of the U.K. until indepedence was gained.
    • Dominican Republic at best a territory after the occupation by the USA in the 1920's, but I foresee that the DR being the one addition that would generate constant debate and contention both domestcally and internationally.
    Historical Realities Impacted:
    • Cold War
    • War on Drugs
    • Angolan Civil War
    • Demographic changes to mainland USA cities sooner, faster and more pronounced.
    • Economic dependency
    • Less USA Passports issued
    • Constant debate and refferenduns to secede from the union.
    • The list is actually endless.