Jefferson's Anti-Slavery Crisis: Alternate History of the U.S.

Final fate of "British Columbia" by the end

  • 1. Eventual independence

    Votes: 18 51.4%
  • 2. Eventual merging with the US

    Votes: 17 48.6%
  • 3. Something else (post in thread for more details)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    35
  • Poll closed .
Even the name of this regime makes me want to run away from very fast.
Yes, this is an allusion to my first writing on this website, where I had a "Black Legion" in Britain. The concept of that "Black Legion"... is also an allusion to the Black Legion from Warhammer 40,000.
 
There might be a separate thread for stories within this timeline if I want something like that to occur. In other news, next thing is probably filling in the gaps of US history.
 
1870s America part 1
America in the 1870 was profiting off a railroad boom in the 1860s. The expansion of the railroads, however, resembled a bubble system, which would eventually burst. The railroad boom led to railways and railroad companies being the largest employer of American workers other than agriculture. The railroad industry had large amounts of risk and money, especially after speculators caused a large flow of cash leading to abnormal growth there. The economy would eventually collapse in 1873 in the “Crash of 1873” due to not only the railroad factors, but also to the silver debate. The US had wavered on whether or not to use the gold standard only or also to use silver. The usage of the gold standard only would be seen as a colossal mistake since many historians believed it partially led to the collapse of the economy in 1873. Due to the collapse, thousands of people were out of work. The U.S. government did not exactly radiate confidence coming out of this crisis.


The US government in 1874 and 1875 did not do much to get the country out of the economic disaster zone. The situation became out of control rather quickly for 1876; the President between 1872 and 1876 (Rutherford B. Hayes) was widely considered one of the worst in American history (and maybe even the worst) for doing almost nothing in the economic panic. The main reason why he had won in 1872 in the first place was due to Hannibal Hamlin (president between 1868 and 1872) not wanting to run again. Hamlin had at least enforced most of the civil rights programs from the Abraham Lincoln era, and even attempted to address some of the lingering inequality issues and make the immigration system easier for the “huddled masses of the world” to get started in America—with little success though.
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Hannibal Hamlin

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Rutherford B. Hayes

Hayes, on the other hand, was notable for being inept. In fact, the main positives of his presidency were caused by the Supreme Court reaffirming the constitutionality of various civil rights legislation. Hayes on civil rights did very little and some people even thought there was a minor pushback on civil rights. Everything else, from the corporations starting to accumulate larger amounts of power in this era, to the lack of response of the Panic of 1873, to the lack of good foreign policy accomplishments, was problematic. Not surprisingly, he was widely hated and his own party (Democratic-Republicans) fractured completely.


The election was between the Progressive Party, the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party, with the Progressives winning due to the complete lack of faith in Hayes. (The Whig party had folded up by then due to constantly underperforming, and it had largely merged with the Progressive Party). The Progressive Party was the farthest left, with the Republican Party the furthest right on the economic issues. Nevertheless, all three parties generally supported civil rights legislation, but most had different paces. The role of corporations would soon lead to the rise of another political party. The winner of the 1876 election… ended up being Frederick Douglass of the Progressive Party. He had turned his political career from being a champion of civil rights in the Senate to a successful presidential run.


The U.S. celebrated its 100th anniversary, with Douglass envisioning a plan to lift it out of the doldrums of the economic panic, and into a bright future
 
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US of the 1870s part 2/1880s
The freedom from oppression was not the only freedom worth fighting for; freedom from poverty or want was also becoming an important factor. The consequences of the Panic of 1873 combined with the plight of the urban poor became such a problem that Frederick Douglass and his administration decided to solve this problem immediately. The stage was set for the blueprint for economic recoveries in the future. In addition, Douglass would also attempt to live up to the dreams of the Founders and largely succeed at it, as well as having a lasting legacy in American globalism.

“Equal rights need to be something in practice as well as on paper.” -Douglass

"In 'British Columbia', a decade feels like a month, and in the United States of America, a month feels like a decade!" - William Sherman
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Frederick Douglass

Shortly after his inauguration, President Douglass had already assembled a general plan of development of many areas of the United States of America that needed it, especially after the economic panic. People needed to be brought back to work, and the economy needed to start running again. Increased taxes on corporations and the top bracket of the wealthy had paid for some of the expansion, but it also led the corporations to redouble their efforts in politics, in the hopes Douglass would be voted out of office in the next election cycle. Congress did pass various laws allowing the vision of President Douglass to become a reality. The first problem was the collapse of the banks. A “bank holiday” was therefore held to prevent further decay. This happened four days after his inauguration and after roaring approval from the House of Representatives and the Senate. One reason why Douglass and his administration got the US out of the Panic of 1873 relatively quickly was due to their progressive thinking on economics and that the government should play a part in helping the public and the economy get out of the depression. (This was new for the time; Hayes certainly did not think that way.). Other organization were founded such as the OAF (Office of American Finances)--which was a watchdog organization over large corporations to prevent the abuses of corruption that had exacerbated the economic panic.


The invention of the light bulb by Joseph Swan in 1879 led to the first electrification businesses. Electric power plants also started construction, especially after the invention of alternating current by Nikola Tesla. The British Empire was the first beneficiary of electric power and lights due to Joseph Swan having his laboratories there. Its government also wanted to keep its position as the foremost in the world (or so it claimed) and thought that these advances in science would also benefit its population and raise the government’s popularity. The United States of America had quickly attempted to electrify to raise the standard of living. The construction of several coal plants to get electricity, along with the power lines to transfer it to transforming facilities, and all the other parts of electric apparatuses, were constructed to bring America into the future. (This heavily polluting industry would eventually have an environmental consequence that would show up years later). The program of electrification had vastly outlasted Douglass, who was there only for the start of it; however, future presidents largely continued the electrification processes, to the point that it was largely finished in the United States of America by 1904.

The Panic of 1873 also affected "British Columbia", shocking it out of a relative placidity from the 1860s to the early 1870s. It had faced the repercussions of the Panic of 1873 which affected Great Britain, and there was a small migration that happened where many people (often times blacks) left "British Columbia". At first, the USA had difficulty accepting them especially when it had trouble keeping its own citizens out of poverty—although once there actually was room, people became more accepting of them.

Technological development has always been important for the United States of America. Some of the most interesting technologies arose first there. The time period from the 1870s to the 1890s saw some very interesting technologies. Some advancements made communication easier, and others gave people new ways to see the world. One reason the United States of America quickly became the most advanced scientific center in the world, and one of the most prolific areas in terms of technology and inventions, (with Germany and the British Empire close behind) was due to the cosmopolitan nature of the US. More groups of people, and greater acceptance of them, causes a greater likelihood of those groups working together and bouncing ideas off each other. (Something similar arose in Germany due to scientific councils and was attempted in the British Empire with the Imperial Scientific Foundation, but the latter example ran into classic imperial racism.). The electrification of the United States of America was proceeding from the 1880s to the 1900s. Other advancements changed agriculture, such as the tractor (1890s), which was much more efficient than horses or other beasts of burden. Tractors and the mechanization of agriculture led to greater productivity of fields and a greater crop output. The electric fan, invented in 1882, made the hot summer environments a bit more bearable.



New technologies also changed the way people moved. The most influential of them was the car or automobile. The first car was invented by Gottlieb Daimler in Germany, and examples quickly spread to America. With the growing popularity of cars in the US, American culture would change. The automobile was considered a symbol of liberty, the liberty of transportation. After Henry Ford in the Ford Motor Company invented the mass-production of automobiles, they were now considered tools of the masses. Many Americans who could afford automobiles would buy them. Cars eventually became a symbol of the “everyman” now that they became affordable—and various companies (Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, and many others) stepped up to fill the insatiable American demand for cars.



Cars need roads. As a result, a massive roadway improvement process occurred in the United States in the very beginning of the 1900s. The U.S. government would authorize the construction of many new roads, as well as the repair and refurbishment of existing ones. The paving of many roads in the U.S. to connect it would also commence. This program would eventually have the grandiose name of the “Liberty of Transportation Project”, and it would greatly streamline automobile travel in the United States of America. Contracting was expensive, though, and in the early days of construction, accidents often happened. Corrupt contractors were also a large issue, and may have been one reason why accidents were so frequent in the early days of road construction. Partly due to the high rate of accidents, protest movements started to form around the country. These protest movements would force the U.S. government to establish a new regulatory agency, the Department of Automotive Affairs. This agency would regulate roadway safety as well as (years later) automobile safety. Crackdowns on corrupt contractors, including a wave of arrests on bribery charges, also happened in an attempt to clamp down on corruption and its resulting substandard work in many places.
 
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Really nice! I think it might help is Frederick Douglass has some position before the presidency just because there would probably need to be some way for him to show his skills. Even just in Congress for a term or to with health. One thing is for sure, Frederick Douglass would know how to use the media and how to use whatever position he is in. In our timeline he was the most photographed person of the 19th century, from what I have read. He used new media like photography very effectively. He was excellent at knowing how to develop his image and public persona.
 
Really nice! I think it might help is Frederick Douglass has some position before the presidency just because there would probably need to be some way for him to show his skills. Even just in Congress for a term or to with health. One thing is for sure, Frederick Douglass would know how to use the media and how to use whatever position he is in. In our timeline he was the most photographed person of the 19th century, from what I have read. He used new media like photography very effectively. He was excellent at knowing how to develop his image and public persona.
Thanks. I had him with a Senate seat... in New York (he moved there after 1836) for quite some time where he worked on civil rights. I'd say that he was there since 1858
 
I think this Progressive Party would likely include people like Charles Sumner or Carl Schurz.
Schurz... good idea, but due to a much more successful Revolutions of 1848/1850s in Europe, maybe he would have stayed in Germany, considering Germany is more democratic than it was in OTL at that time period?
 
Schurz... good idea, but due to a much more successful Revolutions of 1848/1850s in Europe, maybe he would have stayed in Germany, considering Germany is more democratic than it was in OTL at that time period?
Yeah, I see your point. So perhaps people like Sumner, Banks, Butler, C.F.Adams, Hoar brothers would be the leading Progressives.
 
Frederick Douglass’s Senate career began in 1858 in his home state of New York. Every time there was a new piece of civil rights legislation, he fearlessly supported it and helped spearhead it. He argued in favor of protecting the liberties of Americans whenever they were under threat. From police reforms due to concerns over racism to the clearing of ghettos and replacement with actually functioning communities, he was always at the tip of the movement. Protecting Americans whenever they needed it. He joined the Progressive Party, joining luminaries such as Sumner, Banks, Butler, C.F. Adams, and the Hoar brothers. As a Senator, Frederick Douglass hated oppression of any kind, and rallied against the corporations that were causing pay cuts and making the lives of many Americans miserable.

Another issue by the 1870s and 1880s was corporate corruption. Cartels and trusts started to form, which prevented or reduced competition. This led to a tide of either poorly-made products or very overpriced products. As a result, protest movements started to begin, first on the streets, and later on in the Progressive Party and to a lesser extent in the Democratic Party, which had a large discussion on whether or not to back corporations or seek corporation reform. In many cases, Democratic Party candidates or officials wanted to fix the most egregious cases of corporate monopoly, but feared the repercussions of wholesale change, at least at first.) One of the worst corporations at this point was the Gould Railway Conglomerate, which was a controlling interest of much of America’s railway system. When people like Rockefeller and Carnegie (also wealthy industrialists with very large companies) think someone is greedy, that someone must have an insatiable desire for wealth indeed. And so it was with Gould, who was willing to manipulate anyone to get more wealth. This would lead to his undoing. Gould was always accused of various financial crimes such as one of the first pyramid schemes, but little could be proven directly since Gould was very capable at covering his own tracks. Nevertheless, something had to be done about the exorbitant pricing he had over the rail system. Hamlin did attempt a law that would regulate trusts and monopolies in industry (The Liberty of Commerce Act, passed in 1871; challenged but upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court in 1877). In the Hayes era (1872-76), he did not do much to enforce that act. Gould would meet his demise in 1877 primarily because his trust was considered a bad one that raised prices excessively and hurt the American people.



You might have wondered why there is no Canada content. The truth is, after Canadian independence, they had great difficulty setting up a functioning country. (This would have repercussions later on in history as well). The 1840s were not a particularly good time for Canada despite gaining their independence from Britain. It turned out that actually running a country might have been harder than gaining one. So it was with the constitution building in Canada, where many initial discussions fell apart despite the best efforts of various Canadian revolutionaries and politicians to make a functioning one.
 
I wonder how different the Quebec Society was then the rest of Canada in this time period. Would Quebec break off to form its own country this early?
 
I wonder how different the Quebec Society was then the rest of Canada in this time period. Would Quebec break off to form its own country this early?
I will go elaborate on the Canada situation today. I will need to do my own research.
Society in Quebec was rather different than the rest of Canada simply due to the larger number of French Canadians, but I don't think it will break off to form its own country this early... and if it did, there is also the chance that lower Canada might try to join the US if things really get hairy. As I recall some of the Patriotten (Canadian revolutionaries) were okay with the idea but it obviously never got anywhere.
 
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Ok I'm back. I'll probably be making companion stories for each of the chapters tbh. I might make a new thread as well if it gets anywhere.
 
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