Miranda's Dream. ¡Por una Latino América fuerte!.- A Gran Colombia TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Red_Galiray, Feb 15, 2016.

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  1. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    Eh, I'm not really an expert of the Triple Alliance War, but I don't think calling it an expansionist war would be fair. IIRC, Paraguay kind of started it in fact. Please correct me, though!

    Thanks!

    Brazil will be a very big concern because they do have a great desire to be the top dog of South America, and that naturally clashes with Colombia and La Plata.
     
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  2. RandomWriterGuy Bernie Sanders Hindsight 2020

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    Not just that, but Brazil's wars with Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Peru in OTL.
     
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  3. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    The war with OTL colombia and venezuela and ecuador(you forgot those guys, dude) was just walking the amazon jungles and claiming it, OTL nations don't care...That will not be the case ITTL, plus Brazil did was not a good neighboor, meddling with the andean pact(before colombia abandoned it anyway) and other things
     
  4. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    Things will get tense once rubber is discovered and becomes a major export.
     
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  5. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Rubber was not discovered, was smuggled from malaysia via some british traders tired of Malaysia monopoly tried to cultivated everywhere..them the Amazon and Congo were the perfect places for it, meaning that is coming soon, still Colombia will not like people meddling in their 'jungles' and depend what happen with Charkas...they could see an ally there to work agains brazil.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 55: Guerrillas and Filibusterers on the Mexican Border

    Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    With Kearny as our leader and Taylor in the van
    We will plant the flag of freedom in our fair and happy land
    We will drive King Lewis' minions to the Bravo's rolling flood
    And we'll dye her waves in Crimson with the invader's coward blood

    And we'll march, march, march!
    To the music of the drum!
    We were driven off in exile
    From our fair Louisiana home


    -The Louisiana Battle Anthem, a popular song of the Mexican-American War

    The problems at the Mexican-American border did not start and did not end with the Mexican-American War. During the years previous to the war, many empresarios went against the laws of Mexico and tried to introduce more slaves, a form of slave trade that had been abolished by the Duchy of Texas. Mexican attempts to enforce the rules and abolish slavery slowly were seen as a threat by the Texians, who prepared by stashing arms.

    They grew bolder when it became clear that the pro-war James K. Polk would win the election, bringing in the hardliner Castillo, who took steps to ensure the army would be prepared for the fight. When rumors flew that the nearby Mexican army planned to disarm them, the Texians raised the flag of rebellion and defiantly proclaimed “come and get it!”. Soon, they constituted themselves as a Congress and asked for admission to the US, starting the Mexican-American War.

    During the war, many Texians marched north with Sam Houston and became the Texas Rangers, now known as the legendary rivals of the Mexican Indian Cavalry. But many also stayed home, and soon thousands of guerrilla bands started to swarm around the territory. Though the Mexicans did have an official answer to them, conducting often brutal anti-guerrilla campaigns, the Tejanos also raised their own guerrillas to fight against the gringos.

    Soon, two large guerrillas became the main powers in the territory: a Mexican band led by Alejandro Ponte, nicknamed “El Coyote”, and the band of Howard Whitehouse, from which a group led by the psychopathic killer Sheldon Bush split. In Louisiana, a similar story took place, this time pitting the men of Vicente Guzman Blanco, called “Blanco’s Brigands” and the Louisianan guerrilla of David Andrew Johannsen, or “Johannsen’s Raiders”. The legacy of these bloody combats helps explain the political divisions that struck the US in the 1850’s, and the mistrust and hate that plagued the border for years to come.

    Ironically, the first guerrilla chieftain to rise was not a citizen of any of the involved states. Vicente Guzman Blanco was actually a Spaniard living in New Orleans. He didn’t seem to be guided by any true affinity with the Mexicans, but rather by hate for the elite of New Orleans. He especially came to despise slavery, mostly because he thought it had made him fail in business. Propaganda and anecdotes said he had a Black mistress, but it’s hard to confirm. In any case, Blanco actually welcomed the coming of the Mexican Army under Ruiz as a way to strike back against the “aristocracy” that kept so many down. He joined the Mexican Army, but soon enough he found that he did not like the discipline and restraint Ruiz enforced, and was more allured by the possibility of pillaging and robbing. He led a group of deserters to a nearby plantation, and murdered the white family there before setting the slaves free, recruiting the men for his growing band of deserters, escaped slaves and others who were interested in riches.

    Soon enough, Blanco was declared an outlaw and he and his men received the name of “Blanco’s Brigands.” In the chaos of war, the Brigands were mostly able to avoid the forces of law and order. More preoccupied with the American troops than with these outlaws, Ruiz ignored them at first. Some officers offered arms and help, realizing the potential they had for disrupting the American communications and supply. Indeed, Blanco and his men in many occasions captured supply trains or ambushed solitary detachments.

    However, Blanco was simply interested in revenge and gain for himself. He refused to develop any kind of strategy or coordinate with the Mexicans, and even in the first days where the army turned a blind eye to their actions, Blanco never really cooperated in any way. His brutal ways were seen as distasteful and appalling. As Ruiz settled down into a military administration, he realized that he could not endorse slave uprisings and wholesale murder. Doing so would only strengthen his foes. Even if he could never win the hearts of the Americans, he could keep them inactive for the moment. Of course, Mexican atrocities were also a powerful propaganda tool, and the “Rape of Louisiana” motivated many to fight. To openly ally with Blanco would only weaken Mexico’s diplomatic and military position.

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    Some of the men under Blanco's command

    Two months after New Orleans, Blanco’s Brigands were declared outlaws by the Mexican Army and bounties were issued for Blanco’s head. Nonetheless, Ruiz never actually pursued or attacked him, and an informal understanding that he wouldn’t unless Blanco provoked him developed. Blanco thus refrained from attacking Mexicans, but that provided little respite for the occupation force had to deal with its own guerrillas. Blanco himself had started to lose strength due to this counterattack, which was led by a Louisianan who matched him in brutality yet surpassed him in tactics.

    David Andrew Johansen had decided to stay home and take care of his mother and sister while his brother and father enlisted in the army. His brother died in battle; his father was captured and would perish in far away Texas as a prisoner. The rest of his family was safe in the American side of the Mississippi, but Johansen still blamed himself for the lost of his father and brother. After reading reports of Blanco’s atrocities, he decided to recruit a guerrilla of his own formed out of deserters from the Army and people who hadn’t volunteered. “Johansen’s Raiders” made their first appearance by a daring ride all the way to Baton Rouge, where they wrecked several Mexican cannons and stole whole crates of supplies. Aside from this, the raid resulted in the death of several Mexican soldiers.

    Unlike Blanco, Johansen and his boys enjoyed wide popular and official support. Though Winfield Scott, as a Whig committed to law and moderation, loathed to give support to outlaws, he recognized that it was necessary to fight fire with fire. Johansen soon started to receive Army rifles and rations, which allowed him to fight without resulting to plundering. It also enabled his vengeance, for he now could simply destroy Mexican detachments instead of robbing them.

    The greatest factor of Johansen’s success is of course the support of the Louisianans themselves. Seeing him as a popular hero, a man on horseback come to liberate them from “King Lewis” and his mongrel invaders, they opened their homes and hearts to him. Mexican regiments would fruitlessly pursue Johansen, who knew every inch of Louisiana and could simply disperse whenever he wanted, seeking refuge in the houses of his supporters. Though Ruiz could at times be brutal in his suppression of guerrillas, shooting or hanging them immediately, he was unwilling to scorch the land or imprison civilians as some suggested. In any case, his government prohibited such actions, knowing that they would make concluding a peace harder.

    Blanco tried to fight against Johansen, but the latter was a gifted tactician. Blanco’s resources were also dwindling. With most Americans on the other side of the Mississippi, stealing supplies or arms involved difficult and costly raids. Blanco had no problem robbing civilians of their food, but Marshal Ruiz’s Military Administration was far better and much more systematic in this endeavor. Finally, there was the fact that most of Blanco’s men were fugitive slaves or Army deserters. Deserters were plenty, but as the job grew dangerous and the rewards shrank, Blanco found it hard to make them join his band. The slaves were another matter.

    The great majority of slaves wanted freedom, but they wanted security for themselves and their families as well. Blanco was not kind to women or children, and thus Black men with families hesitated to join him. They would either have to take their families with them, exposing them to great dangers, or leave them behind. With Johansen taking upon himself the work of slave patroller, remaining in a plantation could be dangerous if a relative had cooperated with the Mexicans. Johansen made it clear when he chained dozens of women and children who had escaped their plantation and brought them north to be sold to Mississippi’s planters. Of course, not everyone completed the journey.

    Compared with Blanco, the idea of seeking refuge with Ruiz seemed more alluring. Ruiz never saw himself as an Emancipator, and in fact did not want to be one. He was not in favor of slavery, but did not hate it vehemently either. His main concern was winning the war. Personally, he was compassionate and respectful with the slaves. But he never issued any call for them to escape and join him, nor did he organize a rational system to provide for them. He did refuse to return fugitive slaves, and offered them accommodations and food if they in turn worked as laborers and constructing trenches and fortifications. He could not pay the escapados, but his conditions were humane, even if many Mexican soldiers were not.

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    David Andrew Johansen

    Limiting the number of slaves who escaped to Mexican lines was the fact that many plantations still had overseers, making escape difficult. Many feared punishment if recaptured, or for that punishment to fall on their relatives who could not flee. The lack of an official policy meant that many Mexican regiments could turn them back to their owners, or simply refuse to take them in. Other took them in, only to subject them to cruel treatments. Many plantations along the Mississippi were on the American side, or their owner had been evacuated to that side, taking their slaves with them, of course.

    There was also the fact that the Mexican occupation was not permanent – eventually, the escapados would have to leave and go to Mexico. Some skipped a step and went to Texas directly. In any case, the Mexican occupation represented a hard hit, though not a fatal one, against slavery in Louisiana. Amid the chaos of war, as many as 45,000 slaves escaped thorough the entire Mexican occupation (which was just 20% of Louisiana’s slave population), 30,000 of them joining the Mexicans. One of Ruiz’s nobler actions was the evacuating slave women and children when he finally left New Orleans – most men chose to remain with him and fight, playing a big part at the Alamo. Few joined Blanco by contrast.

    Constantly outwitted and outgeneraled by Johansen, Blanco tried to cross the river to get more supplies. There, he was pinned by a regiment commanded by Joseph E. Johnston, recently returned from Veracruz. Blanco’s Brigands, and Blanco himself, met their end there.

    For his part, Johansen continued his violent campaign against the Mexicans. Enacting a kind of warped justice against Blanco, he massacred many fugitive slaves who took refuge in backwoods or abandoned plantations. He was also known for annihilating all the Mexican soldiers he caught. His most infamous act was, of course, the massacre of a camp of escapados. Ruiz had left them in an army camp until he could assign them to different units to clean, cook and build for them. But Johansen’s Raiders came, overwhelmed the small Mexican detachment, and massacred all the people they could, not making distinctions for women or children. In total, 300 people were murdered.

    After the Mexican Army left Louisiana for good following Scott’s campaign, Johansen’s Raiders remained active for some months, “hunting” fugitive slaves and taking revenge on those accused of collaborating, including, undoubtably, many innocent gens de couleur libres. Johansen himself received a commission in the American Army as a Captain as a thanks, and he received a pension and extensive lands. As a Louisianan gentleman, Johansen quickly bought some slaves. Ironically, he was apparently a permissive master.

    Compared to Blanco, the Tejano guerrilla of Alejandro “El Coyote” Ponte was far more successful. Ponte had developed a great mistrust of the Americans during the rocky years of the 1840’s. Now that war had come, this simple tanner took up arms and together with neighbors decided to help the cause of his country. Unlike Blanco, who only wanted to pillage, or Johansen, motivated by vengeance more than anything, Ponte was more aware of political realities. Believing that Mexico needed a Tejano counterpart to the Texian guerrillas, he also saw his own efforts as part of a wider strategy to weaken the Americans and keep Texas in Mexican hands.

    Nicknamed El Coyote because his attacks often took place at night, Ponte destroyed plantations and liberated slaves. He was a genuine humanitarian in this regard, feeling great sympathy for “this race, so long wronged by the greatest tyrants the New World has seen since Spain herself.” Ponte’s actions were in line with other Mexican attempts to destroy slavery in Texas without an express decree. Prohibition of the trade, lack of fugitive slave laws, freedom of womb and confiscation of slaves (both enacted during the war) slowly chirped away at the institution. When the war finished, the slave population of Texas had gone from 30,000 (out of 120,000 Texians and 150,000 Tejanos) to scarcely 5,000 – and almost half of those were liberated as soon as the guns fell silent.

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    Idealized image of Ponte and his men coming to the rescue of Tejanos

    Opposing Ponte was the appropriately-named guerrilla chieftain Howard Bush. Once an empresario who brought settlers (and slaves) to Mexico for a profit, he worked fervently to get Texas to join the United States. He formed part of the small rebellion of 1840 led by Stephen Austin. Unlike him and others like Crocket, he survived. Austin’s rebellion almost caused a war, but the Imperial Treaties of 1840 stopped it. Afterwards, Bush became a leading figure in Texian politics. He was part of Houston’s Congress, an event that did start a war. But unlike Houston, he couldn’t bear to leave his beloved Texas until he was sure that it would not fall to Mexican depredations. Bringing many young men to his banners, Bush started a bloody but effective bush war against Ponte and the Mexican government.

    Bush was overshadowed by his former subordinate, Sheldon Whitehouse. A psychopathic killer motivated not by nationalism but by murderous desire, Whitehouse led many men like him out of Bush’s band. He killed slaves, but also massacred many Tejano civilians. In response, Ponte conducted massacres of his own. With most of the Mexican Army in Louisiana and Veracruz, Texas was awash in blood and anarchy. Ponte, who enjoyed more popular and institutional support, became basically the power of the land during the last months. General Valencia would give him a commission, similar to the case of Johansen. Unlike the Raider, the Coyote would enter politics and be appointed as governor of the province of the Alamo and also a member of Parliament. For their part, Whitehouse would die in one of his many raids, while Bush would live to see his dream of an American Texas fulfilled – never to face any kind of punishment for his crimes.

    The bloody legacy of all these guerrillas contributed to an air of mistrust and hate that would remain in the border for many years to come. The region, as a whole, would not see real peace for a long time, as guerrilla bands, deserters, draft dodgers and hostile tribes kept wandering through it, their respect for life or property low. For a moment, the government of Marshal Salazar was hopeful that they could be able to pacify the area. Their efforts in the Mexican side were successful. But much to the Hero of Veracruz’s chagrin, an old foe would come back to haunt the area. Now calling themselves “filibusterers”, these Americans sought to start war anew so as to fulfill Manifest Destiny.

    The first of the filibusterers were inconsequential, at least for Mexico. A band crossed into Mexican Territory, and declared that all land between the Colorado and Bravo rivers ought to be American. A Mexican patrol quickly subdued their little attempt at revolt, for, understandably, the filibusterers could find no support among the Mexicans there. Salazar decided to be merciful, and they were handed back to the Americans. This was to no avail – a few months later, they tried again. This time, they brought more arms and more men, and ended up capturing a small border town and killing some soldiers. Enraged, Salazar vowed “to enforce the Treaty of Peace at the price of their coward blood.” Once again defeated, the Americans perhaps expected mercy, but Salazar quickly executed them. The event perhaps sobered some fiery delegates at the southern conventions of 1855.

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    American Filibusterers

    The second filibuster was not more successful, but he was more memorable. A small man with piercing eyes that earned him the nickname of “The Grey-eyed man of destiny”, William Walker focused on another area of the Empire. The Treaty of la Habana had left many of the gold mines under American control, but men like Walker wanted to have the mines in Southern California too. He organized an expedition and marched off to find riches. But his party grew smaller in size. Like the Texians, he found only hostility in this area of Californios, which was receiving great internal and international immigration as a result of the Gold Fever. He had more luck on one regard – he made it out of Mexico alive. Salazar, once again, threatened to hang Walker. He was running low on provisions, and many of his men had deserted him. Turning tail, Walker fled back to the US where the Scott Administration indicted him for violating the Neutrality Act. But the Californian jury refused to convict him.

    Walker was free to make another try, but this time his ambition was greater, for he looked south to Cuba. Another man was also looking towards Cuba – Narciso Lopez. The actions of Lopez and Walker would have far greater consequences, as they involved not only the United States and Mexico, but Colombia and Spain as well. They were, definitely, one of the reasons why the Colombian government started to seek a treaty of alliance with Mexico, a treaty that seemed to annunciate a war with Spain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  7. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Ah yeah the 19th century guerillas and pirates and those like OTL were a mess....welll them.... that last paragraph, seems the fun is coming soon
     
  8. Omar20 Cuban Universalist

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    It seems like war is coming to the Caribbean.
     
  9. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    This is where the fun begins.

    To be completely honest, this is kind of a filler chapter, made for myself rather than to advance the history. The Mexican-American war finished a long time ago. I just wanted to explore the guerrillas and filibusterers. By the way, I updated the population tables.

    [​IMG]

    There's also the number of congressmen, percentage of total seats, and percentage of population of each state.

    [​IMG]

    And finally, the division of Colombia into districts (South is modern Ecuador, Center is modern Colombia plus Costa Rica and Panama, East is Venezuela plus the Caribbean islands), historical divisions (modern Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, plus Central America which is Costa Rica and Panama and the Caribbean islands), and geographical/cultural divisions (Caribbean, Pacific, Colombian Central America, Andes, Amazon).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  10. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    619 Congressman? the magic of proportional representation, bigger that OTL USA BUT BETTER, avoid otl issues of under representation and is well organize.
     
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  11. Juan Ochoa Member

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    I have a question is the Congress of Colombia Unicameral or Bicameral? If it is Bicameral are those total 631 congressmen those in the house of representatives or the total for both houses combined?
     
  12. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    Yeah! I imagine that Colombia would transition to a system of proportional representation in the future. I haven't ironed all the details, but I imagine that each state would be assigned a number of congressmen (in the tables is 1 per default plus 1 per every 300k people) and then the election would be proportional.

    Bicameral. Each state is assigned 3 Senators. So, in the modern day there are 23 states, and a total of 69 senators. There are also 6 "special" Senators, 2 for Afro-Colombians, 2 for Indigenous peoples, and 2 for the Caribbean and Pacific islands under Federal control (wink, wink). So, 75 Senators plus 631 Congressmen (likewise, 12 specials, 4 for Afro-Colombians, 4 for Indigenous peoples, 2 for Caribbean islands, 2 por Pacific islands). The Colombian Congress would thus have a total of 706 legislators, comparable with the House of Commons of the UK.

    I imagine that the system of 3 Senators per state would be considered outdated. Giving a state with 400k the same power as one with 20 million would be unpopular. My system would be for a third of the Senators to be elected per state (popular vote, with two round system), a third to be elected proportionally based on party vote (so, if national the Conservatives get 53% of the vote, they would get 53% of the seats) and a third to be elected nationally from a list (23 would be up for election. Candidates run for the seat, and the one who gets a majority after two rounds would win). So, State Senators, Proportional Senators and National Senators.
     
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  13. Colonel flagg Well-Known Member

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    Are the Mexican navy building warships to attack Spain or defend from USA?
     
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  14. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    The Mexican Navy prefers to focus on coastal defence. It failed miserably during the Mexican-American War, with the French bailing them out practically. Right now, the major focus continues to be the Army, but they are building warships indeed to defend their coasts and prevent another blockade should the US attack them again. The one Navy building warships for attacking Spain is the Colombian Navy.
     
  15. Colonel flagg Well-Known Member

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    How large is Colombian navy?
     
  16. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    What again is Gran Colombia’s Capital?
     
  17. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    I don't have exact figures right now. They will be the subject of a future update. The Caribbean Navy is well equipped when it comes to transports and commerce raiders, and they have at least three ironclads. A process of expansion and modernization has been started.

    Bogota, called Santafe ITTL. It's its own federal district, capable of passing some laws and electing its own Senators, though not congressmen.
     
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  18. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    But in the population chart, Santafe has 40 congress seats
     
  19. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    That's a latter reform, taken once the city grew big enough. You see, originally it was separated as part of a compromise to reduce the power of New Granada in the House, in exchange giving them 3 more Senate seats. Since the city was relatively small and the unity of Colombia depended on such compromises, it was accepted for the time being. But after the capital grew large enough, people started to clamor for representation in both houses. With the Union firmly secured, it was possible to give them representation in the House as well. That's why it get seats in the modern day.
     
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  20. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Plus Santafe is a giant, much like OTL, almost a second NY, still not tokyo but massive
     
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